12-year-old sends U.S. president ideas, Obama writes back

By: Carol Feineman News Messenger Editor
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Jakob Kincaid, 12, will be recognized when school begins in August for writing a letter. But it?s not just any letter. The Glen Edwards Middle School seventh-grader sent correspondence to President Obama 45 days ago on how to improve the economy and environment. And two weeks ago Sunday, the president sent him a thank-you letter and photographs. Obama and the White House. ?I wrote the president basically about the benefits of what would happen if the countries of the United States and Canada merged,? Jakob said. ?It would help with oil refineries (Canada has their oil from their land and we used to have oil in Texas) ? instead of getting oil from Liberia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We should use gas from Canada until we have our oil from Texas restarted. Gas prices are crazy; we?re fighting over in the Middle East.? One of Jakob?s favorite subjects is history. He also has visited family in Canada a few times. ?Apparently, we?re getting oil and stuff from basically the Eastern Hemisphere. Canada has tons of clean air and fresh water we can use, Canada has tons of jobs to fill and not enough people, we have tons of people who are unemployed,? Jakob said. ?I didn?t put this in the letter but if the two became a country, it would be bigger than Russia and it would become the biggest country.? Jakob wrote the president on his own, not as part of a school project or assignment. ?I sent the letter basically because I wanted someone to listen to my ideas. I?m just a 12 year old in a small town. The letter was supposed to go to the White House and then to the Parliament Building in Ontario, Canada ? for both the president of the United States and the prime minister of Canada. That apparently didn?t work out. ? Yet Jakob is pleased with the end result. ?I still got a letter from the president dated June 13,? Jakob said. ?The president said thank you for writing, talking about how the environment is important, your ideas were good. At the end, he said getting letters from kids like you gives him great hope for the future.? He first thought of merging the two neighboring countries in fifth-grade. ?I tried writing an adventure book about Kevin and his friends. I wrote in a notebook every day at school and got ideas from kids at school,? Jakob said. ?I wrote a full notebook and a quarter. Kevin has adventures throughout the U.S. and Canada. I finished the book the middle of sixth-grade. The countries? merger was in my book.? Glen Edwards Middle School Principal Shelly Hoover was impressed that Jakob wrote the president on his own initiative. ?First thing we?ll do when school starts, our broadcast class will do a morning broadcast on what the letter was about,? Hoover said. ?The class will talk to him about his ideas.? The Monday broadcast celebrates something unique that students accomplish, Hoover explained. ?He is a very creative kid. He does these elaborate cartoons and animation and writes stories,? Hoover said. ?Jakob?s extremely intelligent and imaginative. I?m not surprised he did it. He is a very thoughtful and caring kid so I can see how he would think outside of himself and be concerned with his community and country.? Jakob is also like an ambassador for youth throughout the United States. ?If a 12-year-old in a small town could write the president, then other kids in bigger towns could do bigger, greater things,? Jakob said. ?Who knows? There?s a lot of power in kids. Just as an example, a kid could probably stop the war by giving a speech. Modern times, right now, go on YouTube and give a speech ? kid power. I just want to inspire others.? And Jakob, although he has another six years before he can vote for president, is keenly up on the next presidential election. ?I think President Obama is actually a very good president although everyone thinks he doesn?t do a very good job,? Jakob said. ?But it?s very stressful if you?re in two wars and all the propositions and taxes and all that stuff.? And, if Jakob could vote, would he vote for Obama? ?Yep. I think he?s doing a great job. He?s one of those presidents, if you want to talk to him, you could,? the seventh-grader said. ?And he?s a nice guy. Other presidents, you couldn?t even go near or talk to.?