Congress to classroom
Sen. Chambliss' wife promotes reading with visit to school

SNELLVILLE - As the wife of a U.S. senator, Julianne Chambliss knows a thing or two about life on Capitol Hill.

She has ridden with the vice president on Air Force Two, been in the Oval Office and watched George W. Bush disembark from a helicopter after it landed on the White House lawn.

The former teacher shared some of her stories Monday with students at Britt Elementary in Snellville. She described the president's motorcade and talked about security at the White House.

"I think it's such another world for them," said Chambliss, who taught fifth grade for 25 years. "In having stories, it makes them interested in social studies and makes it real."

Chambliss, an advocate for childhood literacy, also read books to the students. In "My Teacher for President," Oliver writes a letter to a television station explaining why his teacher would make a good president.

"Raise your hand if you think your teacher would make a great president," Chambliss said as she began reading the book. Students' hands shot up.

Chambliss also encouraged the children to read other books, such as "House Mouse, Senate Mouse," which she said would teach students more about what her husband, Saxby, does in Congress.

Earlier this year, Britt's health specialist, Rodney Wayne, and two students visited the nation's capitol after the school was honored by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Wayne said he met with members of Congress and invited them to visit the school. U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss sent a letter saying he would be unable to make the trip, but his wife could visit.

Doris Jones, the school's principal, said she thought Julianne Chambliss' visit helped children see the connection between reading and social studies. As they continue to learn, the children will remember her stories about Washington, D.C.

"I think it piqued an interest in students," Jones said.