Hundreds of JL Newbern kids packed into the cafeteria to meet Mayor John Fretti.
He encouraged them to dream about becoming mayor of Valdosta and the changes they would make.
In 300-words or less, all area sixth graders are encouraged to submit entries to the, "If I Were Mayor, I Would..." essay contest.
"I think from the most simplistic to the most complex, out of the minds of these children come some of the most innocent ideas, said Fretti. "But they have merit."
Sixth grader Malcolm Wright said, "If I was mayor, I would build shelters by houses so in case a tornado came we could go in there."
After the event, Fretti joined students for a lunch of chicken teryaki and greens.
The submission deadline is Friday, March 4.
The winner will receive a $250 savings bond and be presented an award at an Atlanta luncheon.
Essay contest entry forms can be downloaded at www.valdostacity.com from the Public Information web page.
Individuals or class groups should submit their entries to the following address:
Georgia Municipal Association
Attention: Essay Contest
P.O. Box 105377
Atlanta, GA 30348
For more info, call Sementha Matthews, with the city of Valdosta, at (229) 259-3548.