Our Voice: We're grateful for the rising generation

This week we're thinking about the young people in our community. You know, the ones you see with their nose in a book and the ones loitering outside the library.

We all too often label some as successful and some as troubled. With the right opportunity, we're convinced there is hope for all of them. Even the ones who appear to be up to no good have a great deal of potential.

We are grateful for the youths who are making positive headlines, and we're withholding judgment on the ones who are still a work in progress.

Future lawmakers

The elementary students at Washtunca probably know more about the legislative process than most of us. After all, they have now written a bill and seen it carried through the Legislature.

It's just one signature away from becoming a law.

That signature -- Gov. Jay Inslee's -- would be a great photo op if it is taken in front of the soon-to-be recognized Washington State Waterfall, Palouse Falls.

Kudos to the kids -- and their teachers -- for authoring the bill and recruiting Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, to sponsor it.

The hands-on experience will certainly teach them more about how our laws are made than any amount of lectures or reading assignments.

A few of the students also went to Olympia and testified on the bill's behalf.

To tell the truth, we're a little indifferent to the state having a recognized waterfall. However, we do think it's extremely valuable to have an engaged citizenry.

We can think of no better civics lesson and would not be surprised at all if the Washtunca third-grade class of 2014 produces an unusually large percentage of future leaders, lobbyists and voters.

We offer congratulations to the students for their hard work and a little nudge to the governor urging his signature on the law.

Meet the author

Are you ready for Columbia Basin Reads this weekend? Author S.A. Bodeen is here pulling double duty.

She's participating in Cavalcade of Authors and will be speaking to what we hope will be a packed house at Columbia Basin College's Gjerde Center at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The idea behind the Columbia Basin Reads event is to get people talking. Read the book, in the case the book is The Compound, talk about the book and meet the author.

Reading is one way to share ideas. Civil discussion is another. It's great that people will organize events like Columbia Basin Reads.

The Mid-Columbia Literary Festival provided hundreds of free copies of The Compound to the community. And, as of Wednesday afternoon, the Mid-Columbia Libraries had 13 available copies.

We're grateful people take the time to make these events happen in our community. The best way to show that appreciation is to participate in the event.

Cavalcade of Authors

Cavalcade of Authors is bringing 16 authors to the Mid-Columbia. All the authors will be at Barnes & Noble Booksellers tonight from 5 to 6 p.m. if you want to get a book signed.

On Friday, they all are visiting classrooms and working with readers and would-be writers. On Saturday, they provide workshops for middle and high school students who have earned the right to participate by signing up and reading books written by the guest authors.

Reading exposes us to new ideas outside of ourselves. Writing forces us to become acquainted with ourselves. Both are educational.

Thanks to the organizers of Cavalcade and welcome, authors, to the Mid-Columbia. We're grateful you are here.

Country Cuties

Congratulations to the girls who didn't want to go out for recess when it's cold. And to the math teacher who let them stay in his room, as long as they were willing to sing.

Their music is harmonized and beautiful and all "stolen" from YouTube. They practice computerized scales. The math teacher, Shafer Murray, listens to other performances on YouTube and selects their music for them.

Wow. The power of technology.

The a capella group started singing in November and now plays gigs around the region.

It's inspiring and a little mysterious. Maybe all these girls just have a super ear. Maybe when you're 11, you are willing to try to new things that you talk yourself out of when you get older. Or maybe the promise of Hot Cheetos at the end of a performance builds one's self-confidence.

At any rate, they're impressive and we're excited to see what seventh grade holds for them.