Nov 21, 2008 7:44 pm US/Eastern
Determined Fifth Graders Stun School Board With Oral Request; Overwhelming Sense Of Pride Grips Community
Principal: School May Be First In Nation Named After Obama
HEMPSTEAD A monumental change is coming to Long Island.
At Thursday night's board meeting, the Hempstead School District voted to rename Ludlum Elementary School, "Barack Obama Elementary."
Board members told CBS 2 HD they believe it's the first school building in the region -- and the nation -- renamed for the president-elect.
"Our school is going to be the first in America to be named Barack Obama Elementary school!" fifth-grader Teonte Jackson said. "I feel proud."
Jackson is flying high. In Ludlum Elementary's "mock-election," Jackson was named: President Barack Obama. His classmate, Jalani Johnson, was his running mate.
"My name is Jalani Johnson and I am also Joe Biden," Johnson said.
Students here said the mock elections were so invigorating, they begged for something more permanent. Led by 10-year-old lobbyist Samantha Alburez, this trio surprised the Hempstead School Board on Thursday night with unexpected and overwhelming written requests, delivered as stirring oratory.
"Ludlum is a diverse school, so naming our school Barack Obama would honor the diversity of the staff and students," Alburez said.
Added VP Biden, err … Johnson: "We are living in history. We should mark his name down in history by having a school named after him."
Principal Jean Bligen believes they are first in the nation to pass the monumental resolution.
"The board voted. It was a unanimous vote. This is truly historical in the Village of Hempstead," Bligen said.
With its black and Latino majority, the election of the first African-American president is having a profound effect on students here and their families.
"I feel really proud of this school. I'm really proud," Alburez said.
The name change is immediate. The new signs should all go up in the spring.
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