6-y-o Ben Whitson gets Good Citizen Award from City Council

This might seem like a departure from the usual posts here, but I can’t resist sharing this news about my nephew Ben.

As reported in the Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal:
Ben (small)

Ben Whitson, Abiqua School first-grader, was lauded as this month’s Good Citizen Monday at the Salem City Council meeting. He is the second to receive the honor and the first elementary school student to earn it.


For more than a year, Ben has been volunteering 1.5 hours every Friday sorting food with his mom at Marion-Polk Food Share, and he came up with the idea to start a food drive in his first-grade class this winter.

“I help people, and also, I didn’t do it all by myself,” Ben said. “Some of my classmates helped.”

Ben is actually setting an example that is relevant to my work in curriculum. In Social Studies, we recognize the importance of students — even in the earliest grades — learning to be active and effective citizens in their communities. Too often people think that this is beyond the capabilities of younger children, for whom we should aim only for them to learn factual information about history and geography.

To overcome the tendency to sell young people short, it’s very helpful to be able to point to a good positive example like Ben Whitson.

Way to go, Ben!



  1. Val Pang
    Posted May 4, 2008 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to your nephew, Ben, who is a strong role model for all of us. Great to see the positive activities that children are also involved in. He is following in your footsteps!

  2. Posted October 27, 2008 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    hy, Do something for help the hungry people from Africa and India,
    I created this blog about this subject:
    in http://tinyurl.com/6bz6t7

  3. Fran O'Malley
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Tony – this is by far my favorite blog entry you’ve posted ;) Congratulations on Ben’s well-earned recognition.

  4. Posted July 7, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    I always have loved helping the community in different ways. I loved going to the marion Polk food share as a field trip on multiple occasions. I love helping out there. I hope u liked helping out there too Ben.

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