Nine-year-old gets letter from the president
May 15, 2009
A third-grader at McPolin Elementary School said she wrote President Barack Obama to congratulate him on his presidency.
"I said congratulations and I asked if he was doing well in his new home. I wanted to know if he was comfortable," 9-year-old Sonoma Mougenot said.
She held out hope she would receive something in return.
"Finally, three months later he wrote me back, and it was very exciting," Mougenot said Thursday.
About two weeks ago a letter from the White House addressed to Sonoma arrived at her Park City home.
"I assumed the whole school did it," admits her mother, Susan Mougenot.
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But then a photograph of Obama signed by the president arrived last week at Sonoma’s school.
"The teacher said, ‘There is somebody very special in this school, in fact, she is in this room right now and if you know who you are, stand up,’" Sonoma said. "I had no clue who it was and when they said it was ‘Sonoma Mougenot,’ I was really surprised."
The president also signed his response to Sonoma, which bears the presidential seal.
"She came home with that picture and she told me it was announced in the whole school that the school received a special package in the mail today, and it was that picture addressed to the school in her honor," Susan Mougenot said.
Sonoma’s missive has inspired other third-graders at McPolin to write the president.
"After it goes throughout the whole school on a speaker, everybody said, ‘Where’s the address? I need to get the address. Can you write it down for me?’" Sonoma said. "They wanted to know where I got the address."
Sonoma’s teacher mailed the letter after it was penned at a computer lab at school.
"I sent it right after he became president," Sonoma said. "I just felt like writing this letter because it’s really cool that he is the first black president."
She said his success inspired her to reach out to the president.
"There should be women and black people included, not just white men," Sonoma said. "He doesn’t exclude people. He’ll speak out to the crowd like opening doors into another house."
Nine-year-olds rarely write letters to anyone, McPolin Elementary School Principal Bob Edmiston said.
"I think sitting down and writing cards and letters to one another in today’s electronic world doesn’t occur as often as it once did," Edmiston said. "[Sonoma’s] polite, she’s kind, she’s hard working, she’s honest and she does that kind of thing, she sits down and writes a letter to the president of the United States."