‘If I were mayor’ winner honored

Bennett’s Mill Middle School sixth-grader Olivia Ibeh was the winner of the 2014 “If I Were Mayor, I Would ...” contest sponsored by the Fayetteville City Council. Pictured at the April 17 council meeting with Olivia (center) were, from left, Mayor Greg Clifton and Olivia’s parents Chiekezie and Sonya Ibeh. Photo/Ben Nelms.

It is a tradition in Fayetteville for the City Council each year to sponsor an essay contest with the topic “If I Were Mayor, I Would ...” This year, sixth-grade language arts students from Bennett’s Mill Middle School were asked to submit entries. The council at the April 17 meeting recognized contest winner Olivia Ibeh.

The contest is part of the Georgia Cities Week activities and is a way to promote positive student recognition.

After the announcement of Olivia’s winning contest entry, the sixth-grader read her winning essay.

“If I were mayor I would help the environment in neighborhoods by planting trees, fruits, vegetables and flowers to help soil. I would have bus assistants on every bus to make sure the kids are obedient on the way to and from school. I would make sure teachers, principals, custodians, counselors and any other school staff get paid a little bit more. If I were mayor, I would apply for a grant from the federal government to establish free fitness centers for children,” Olivia said.

“The fitness center will be open seven days a week, and in the center it will have treadmills or elliptical machines for kids in the winter time. If they don’t like running on the track, I will have weight-lifting stations for kids who like having strong arm muscles, jumping rope stations to help your heart strong, free food stations that serve healthy foods to keep children strong and energized and a swimming area for kids who like swimming and for kids to cool down on really hot days. This free fitness center for kids will have professional trainers and a certified nutritionist. For the fitness center, I will also make a station for disabled children to get exercise too. I would also hire physical therapists and nurses in case any of the kids have an injury.”

“If I were mayor, I would provide after school programs for elementary, middle and high school students who do not understand what they are learning. For example, teachers can stay after school and help the kids who need help. The teachers in this program can only teach these subjects — math, English, reading, science, social studies and music. The program ends at 5 p.m. This program will also provide permission slips and a snack station. If implemented, the idea proposed would benefit the community that I govern in a positive way and offer special programs for children to stay healthy — for kids to stay well behaved, for kids to be well educated and to improve the environment.”

After reading her winning entry, Olivia was joined at the podium by her parents Sonya and Chiekezie Ibeh and by Mayor Greg Clifton.