A visit from the mayor

Mayor Levi Tappan plays a hula hoop pass game with third-graders last week as part of a team-building exercise.

By Steven Law
Special to the Chronicle

PAGE – Kristin Warner’s third-grade class got a special visitor to their classroom last Friday. Page Mayor Levi Tappan stopped by and spent an hour with the students, talking to them about how local government works.

Warner is teaching a three-week unit about U.S. government, and she invited the mayor to her classroom as part of that curriculum.
“I try to bring real life into the classroom whenever I can,” she said.

On the whiteboard Tappan drew a diagram of the levels of government extending from the federal government down to city government and gave to the students a brief overview of the roles of each level of government, after which he answered the students’ questions.

Tappan and his wife, Hillery, have three kids enrolled in the Page Unified School District.

When Warner invited the mayor to speak to her class, he said he accepted.

“The city has a new initiative to integrate with our schools,” he said. “I think that’s something everyone in Page can rally around.”

At the end of the mayor’s presentation he joined the students to play a game of hula hoop race where the students divide into two groups. Each group holds hands and forms a circle. A hula hoop is inserted into the linked arms and group passes it around the circle without breaking the circle. The players must use their legs and arms and contort their bodies to pass the hoop. The first group to pass the hoop the complete circuit wins the game. The main purpose of the game is to let the students “get their wiggles out,” said Warner.
Tappan joined one team, while Warner joined the other.

Another big reason for inviting Tappan to visit was so her students could directly interact with him and see firsthand that doing so isn’t strange.

“I think it’s important for them to learn that they can approach authority figures, whether it’s the mayor or policemen or firefighters,” Warner said. “I think it’s good for them to see that they’re just regular people.”

She added, “It was an honor that Mayor Tappan cares enough about the city’s citizens to spend an hour visiting with us.”