CEC student writes president, receives packet of information

Marianne Gillespie
mgillespie@timestoday.com
Brendan Adler, 10, holds a letter he wrote to President Barack Obama and the letter he received. Also pictured around him is what arrived at his home with Obama's letter.

Chillicothe Elementary Center fourth grader Brendan Adler figures he has at least one thing in common with President Barack Obama.

“He likes playing sports,” Brendan said of Obama, who likes to play soccer in his spare time, while the Chillicothean plays football and baseball.

He learned that after he sent a letter to the president, dated March 2. His teacher suggested students could write the president, though they did not do so as a group. Brendan came home one night and had his dad, Brian Adler, help him write the letter.

He talked about Chillicothe and the large amount of snow the area had received at the time of his writing, and told of his siblings, Lauren and Ryan.

The straight A student also told the president he enjoyed playing football and baseball. He asked about his family as well as his favorite part of being the president as well as the coolest country he has visited and person he’s met.

“I think you’re doing awesome at your job,” Brendan wrote.

Writing to the president must run in the family as his mom, Tricia Adler, wrote President Ronald Reagan when she was about her son’s age. Each of them wrote the letter of their own volition.

“That’s really weird because I just wanted to do it and then he wanted to do it,” his mom said. She also said that Brendan and Obama have another thing in common: both are smart.

While his mom received only a letter of response, Brendan received a packet of information.

Included was a standardized letter dated April 3, which read in part, “As a nation, we have no higher priority than making sure the doors of opportunity are wide open for you and your generation.”

Obama also sent encouraging words of “dream big and work hard.”

The packet also included a photo of Obama with fun facts about him on the opposite side, two postcard-sized photos of the Obama family’s dogs with fun facts about each one, a map of the White House, art in the White House and information about the First Lady’s Let’s Move Initiative on food and gardens.

About 100 volunteers answer at least 2,000 to 3,000 letters from students sent to the president a week, according to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Along with Obama’s recommendation to dream big, Brendan said he hopes to someday play in Major League Baseball.

At this point, he can play whatever position is needed and keeps honing his skills on the 10u travel team.

While his favorite team is the Chicago Cubs, his favorite player is local standout and Cleveland Indians pitcher Zach McAllister. He and McAllister have something in common as well, both are quiet.

He keeps pictures of McAllister, as well as Josh, Jordan and Justin Parr and Chris Razo, framed nearby in the living room next to family photos.

“We’ve got them in the family here,” his mom said with a chuckle.

For now, 10-year-old Brendan will keep hitting the books and playing sports in his spare time. He planned to take his packet of information for show and tell last week.

So what was it like seeing that envelope addressed to him?

“Awesome,” Brendan said.