Role play for higher learning

Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan gave the city’s command over to the Kids for Higher Learning summer camp group from New Orleans last Wednesday to teach it how to run a city.

Imagine for one day the City of Donaldsonville was being controlled by a group of kids and the mayor was an eight-year-old girl named Sasha. That day has already come and gone as the Kids for Higher Learning summer camp group from New Orleans spent the day with Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan, with Sasha Yaasir acting in the role of mayor for the day along with her camp mates who served as council.

The group came last Wednesday and Mayor Sullivan taught it how the council and mayor work together to pass ordinances in the city, such as a curfew for kids. Yaasir wasn’t favored much by the council in her decision to move curfew to 7 p.m. as each member voted against her proposal, but despite that she said she still had fun in her short term as the mayor.

“It was awesome, but I was nervous because it was my first time,” Yaasir said about acting as mayor.

She said she learned she has to do the job right, “not wrong.”

“My favorite part was when I was giving them new decisions.”

The Kids for Higher Learning were given an opportunity to learn the history of Donaldsonville from the mayor and was given a tour around the city with stops at the River Road African American Museum, the Lemann Center and the Crescent Park Levee Top.

“I think (the kids) really enjoyed themselves, this was an extraordinary visit,” Althea Mathieuvidal said, head of the camp. “It will probably one day let them know that they can be anything that they aspire to be.”

Mathieuvidal said there were a lot of things she learned about Donaldsonville that she never realized.

“A multitude of our culture came out of Donaldsonville and that was just amazing to me.”

Mayor Sullivan said he really enjoyed the visit and had fun.

“You can tell they’re doing a real good job with them in the program; and to say that they don’t get any funding and it being strictly made possible by the passion of the adults running the program - I take my hat off to them,” Mayor Sullivan said.

Mayor Sullivan added, “It goes to show that people from places like New Orleans are interested in a small city like Donaldsonville, and I’m just happy that they came down.”