The Sun News

Perdue visits Lake Joy Elementary School students

Second-grade students at Lake Joy Primary School received a lesson in government, and it wasn’t from their teachers.

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and former first lady Mary Perdue talked to the second-grade classes about the levels and branches of government on a rainy Monday morning.

“They work together for the benefit of all of us,” Sonny Perdue said.

While the former leader of Georgia quizzed students on what the titles of the elected officials at the top of each level were, the first lady talked about some of the interesting things she did while living in the governor’s mansion.

Much to the gasps and delight of the young audience, Mary Perdue said her chef made 16,000-18,000 cookies for Christmas tours at the mansion the last year her husband was in office.

“He has to make the hard decisions. I got to do whatever I wanted,” she said.

Most of her time was spent on the foster care and adoption systems in Georgia, she said.

Ashani Todd, 7, remembered the lesson at the end of the talk.

“She helped out adoptions for kids,” Ashani said.

At the end of the talk, the governor opened up the floor for questions.

Students asked about his favorite food, watermelon; his favorite color, red (because of the University of Georgia and Warner Robins High School); and his favorite book, a question he deferred to his wife.

Mary Perdue recited from memory a snippet of the book “Miss Twiggley’s Tree” by Dorothea Warren Fox, which she used to read to her own four children.

The story was 7-year-old Kaiden Moore’s favorite part of the morning.

A student asked how much money the governor made, while another asked what he was doing now that he is no longer governor.

“I run a business every day,” Sonny Perdue said.

Sonny Perdue also asked the children to make a promise to graduate from high school. Each child raised his or her hand.

He said he hoped that in the future if a child thought about dropping out, he or she might remember the promise they made in second grade to the former governor. “It might make a difference. Their lives will be forever impacted” by graduating high school, Perdue said.