Let’s talk: First graders chat with city official about support of basic needs

Posted by Community Relations staff on 11/15/2019

City Councilwoman Kate Burke talks with students

As part of their studies on societal organization, first graders in Libby’s Language Immersion program got to hear from a local official.

City Councilwoman Kate Burke talked with students about how Spokane supports the needs and wants of its community members. She said she tries to get out to a classroom to speak at least once a week.

Burke discussed what it takes to be elected and how important it is to vote.

“I went door to door and talked with people about my ideas for making the city a better place, and then asked for their support,” she said. “I knocked on 10,000 doors!”

Students had lots of ideas about what city council members do: “Help homeless people.” “Make sure people have clean air and water.” “Help people be healthy.”

Burke talked about the role of local officials in supporting a community’s most important needs: water, food, shelter and clothing. She shared some of the reasons why people are homeless and some of the ways a city can help.

“I believe it is a city’s job to help people who have no shelter,” she said.

Students had lots of questions and eagerly shared their own experiences.

“Sometimes I see homeless people in my neighborhood,” one boy said, “and I run to my house and give them an apple.”

Burke said that is a good way to help, and that she likes to keep socks in her car to give to people in need.

One student innocently wondered of it’s OK to not help someone.

“It’s not always possible for people to help out,” Burke said, “but if you can help someone, you should.

“It’s important to look out for each other.”

The Language Immersion program is working to achieve International Baccalaureate status by teaching students to “think for themselves and take responsibility for their learning as they explore local and global issues and opportunities in real-life contexts.”

City Councilwoman Kate Burke talks with students