By Miguel Gonzalez
(Hesperia)–One day before Read Across America Day, Hesperia Mayor Mike Leonard visited the fourth grade class of Mrs.Gonzalez at Mission Crest Elementary School to read to students and emphasize the value of education.
Leonard, widely respected in the Victor Valley for his community values, said the experience of interacting with students ages 9 and 10 was something he values. These are our future leaders. Our City needs these kids to not only learn how to read, but also write and know arithmetics, Leonard told High Desert Daily.
Leonard read ”Mooseltoe” to an estimated 31 students, all of them hanging to every word the Mayor spoke. Leonard also explained to the young students the importance of creating high tech jobs to Hesperia and the Victor Valley. When we bring these jobs to our cities, we create a better quality of life for our residents, I think these kids were very smart and they understood that in life you need an education to have a better chance at success.
Leonard also shared laughs with the young minds, especially when one of the students asked the Mayor where his limousine was “You are the Mayor, don’t they give you a limousine,” the young student asked. “Am going to take that issue up with my City Council and see if I can get a limousine,” Leonard joked.
Class teacher Mrs. Melanie Gonzalez said the experience of having the Mayor of the City of Hesperia read to her class had a big impact on the students. “Many of these kids had never met an elected official. To have Mayor Leonard here was a real treat because they became inspired by his example,” Gonzalez said.
Leonard was given a certificate of appreciation, which he later showed to the rest of the council on Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. “Next year I plan to encourage the rest of the council to visit our local schools and read to our young citizens, it’s a win-win situation,” Leonard concluded.