Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bellevue 5th-graders take to City Hall

Students aim to clean up entrance to town

Express Staff Writer

About 20 Bellevue Elementary School students took their concerns to City Hall on Thursday, Nov. 17. They brought drawings, made speeches and showed a video outlining their plans to beautify the south entrance to town.

The kids presented a Beautify Bellevue campaign hatched in teacher Bill Cantrell's fifth-grade classroom. The campaign is a product of the Blaine County School District's Leader in Me Program.

The students' immediate plans include removing portable toilets at the entrance to town and sprucing up a "Welcome to Bellevue" sign.

"They're learning about city government, map-making and persuasive writing," said Cantrell, who is mentoring the students in their efforts.

The Bellevue City Council and mayor are taking notice.

"[The city entrance] has been on our radar," said Council Chair Dave Hattula. "I'm impressed with your spirit of volunteerism and commitment."

"Your enthusiasm is why I enjoy being the mayor of Bellevue," said Mayor Chris Koch. "We need your help."

Planning Administrator Craig Eckles said meetings were planned with the owners of property and other interested parties who could help out with the project.

Cantrell said in an interview that he would be back at City Call with his activist students later this winter to follow up on their project.

"Right now they're writing papers on why they should make these changes, and trying to come up with some win-wins for all parties," he said.

Tony Evans:

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