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Stella Brockman students offer advice to president
Jesse Hurtado holds his daughter Trinity, 4, during the assembly. - photo by HIME ROMERO
As part of the Character Counts program, students at Stella Brockman Elementary School in Manteca wrote letters of advice to President Obama.

The letters suggested ways to promote good character citing examples for one or more of the six pillars of Character Counts:  Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Citizenship, Caring, and Fairness.   Five students were selected as winners.  The following students read their letters and were honored during three school assemblies on Friday in the Stella Brockman gym.

•Ellie Kim, first grade, Mr. Andersen’s class

•Natalie Maxey, second grade, Mrs. Biving’s class

•Layla Salem, third grade, Mrs. Storalik’s class

•Jason Valdovinos, fourth grade, Mrs. Gonzalez’s class

•Kiana Mahler, fifth grade, Mrs. Page’s class

 All students who wrote letters were encouraged to mail them to the White House at  1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500.

The following are the winning letters:

Dear Mr. President,
My name is Ellie Kim at Stella Brockman Elementary School.  My daddy told me you help people and you are the strongest in the country.  I like to help people like you. I want to be a veterinarian so I can help animals.  My mommy told me I have to study hard to be a veterinarian.  Did you study hard when you were in first grade? I want to study hard so my daddy told me I have to go to study school after school because, I have to learn more.  I wish I could learn more at Stella Brockman.  I wish we have music class and art classes.  I wish I could have more play time with my friends.  I wish my teachers were happier every day.  I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I love you, Mr. President, and I hope to see you.
Ellie, 1st grade

• • •

Dear President Obama,
To make our country better is to make no guns allowed if someone is going to hurt someone.  First, no one can break into someone else’s car.  And care for others if they are hurt or lost. Next, I wish there were no robbers at all, so people need to stop stealing.  And start showing good citizenship by following the laws and respecting the laws.  If people start sharing with each other, we will be kinder.  People should stop using bad words to each other, and stop talking behind others back.  People need to stop talking back to others.
Natalie M., 2nd grade

• • •

Dear Mr. President,
I, Layla Salem, think we need to take better care of our earth.  There are lots of things we can do to protect our planet.  It is our responsibility to save water, save electricity, and recycle in our schools and homes.  The earth gives a lot to us, so we should give back by taking care of it.  We are taught to take care of our bodies, so it is only right that we take care of our world.  When the earth is healthy, we are healthier.  The cleaner our water is, the less diseases we will get.  I think you should make a law that tells people how to take care of our world.  You and your family can help us by setting a good example for us to follow.  As we love and care for our planet, the people of our country will become more responsible, more caring, and better citizens of the world.  This will help America have better character.
Layla Salem, 3rd grade

• • •

Dear President Barack Obama,
I am going to give advice of how to make our country more respectful, responsible, and to be a clean place to live.  For respect, we need to respect other people with disabilities and people from other countries that speak different languages.  For responsibility at school, students have gotten hurt, so we need to be responsible and look for an adult or stand up and stop the problem and make a solution. As a good citizen, I believe we need to recycle and keep our environment and the wild clean for the animals and for the people to live.  This is my advice of how to make our country a respectful, responsible, and a clean place to live.
Jason S. Valdovinos, 4th grade

• • •

Dear Mr. President,
I am going to give you advice on how you can make the world a more caring place.  You could get people to do a project like take every dull building and paint a beautiful mural on it.  That way we can make more friends.  We can go around the neighborhood and pick up every single piece of trash we see.  That way the world would be a much cleaner place. Now I’m going to give you some advice on how to be responsible.  At school, we could keep track of our papers so we don’t have to keep on using papers.  If we do that, we won’t be killing trees that much.  We could also use the back of our papers if we run out of room on the front.  That’s another way we could stop killing trees. The last advice I am going to give you is on citizenship.  We could carpool to school with friends so that we won’t pollute the air.  We can also walk to school.  That’s another way we won’t pollute the air.  Instead of throwing away our plastic bottles, we can recycle them, so we can use them for something else.  If we don’t leave the water on while we brush our teeth, we could save a bunch of water.  Well, that’s all the advice I can give you.  I hope you liked reading it.  I think if you use all of this advice, we could save the earth.