- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2002

Lynne V. Cheney spent yesterday morning at the historic Mount Vernon estate encouraging 300 Virginia elementary school students to value their country.
Introduced by Mrs. Robert E. Lee IV as "somebody who is a cheerleader for American history," Mrs. Cheney, wife of Vice President Richard B. Cheney, talked to students from Cloverton Elementary in Fairfax County about American history and patriotism. She drew on material from her new children's book, "America: A Patriotic Primer," for her 30-minute presentation.
"I really wrote this book because I want my grandchildren and all children to know about our history," Mrs. Cheney, who has three grandchildren ages 8, 4 and 2, told the students, who endured the heat and listened attentively.
"We have a great story and it's so important that we know about it and know how lucky we are," Mrs. Cheney, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, who, in her public role, has emphasized the importance of history.
During her years as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1986 to 1993, she wrote "American Memory," which warned about the failure of schools to pass on the nation's history to future generations.
Her newest book teaches children the alphabet through history lessons on America's founding principles, events and persons. She is donating her net proceeds to the American Red Cross and to "charities that foster the appreciation of American history."
Toward the end of Mrs. Cheney's talk, three actors portraying George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison strolled up to speak with her and answer students' questions.
"Where are you buried?" asked one young girl of George Washington, played by William Sommerfield, who gave a long, equivocating answer. There were no more questions.
The students said they were impressed with Mrs. Cheney.
"She's a very nice person that likes to talk to a lot of children," said Trent Bradley-Mighty, who said his parents voted for Al Gore in 2000.
"He's a Democrat. Bush is a Republican, ugh," Trent said.
Chelsea Hicks, 10, also in fifth grade, said she learned a valuable lesson, namely, "You should definitely go to school, because you never know what's going to happen."
Trent said he enjoyed Mrs. Cheney's talk, but that the midday sun, which bore down on the students and drove the temperature into the 90s, affected him.
"I actually got tired and almost fell asleep," he said.
Both Chelsea and Trent said their favorite part of the morning was when the three "presidents" appeared.
After spending time with the students, Mrs. Cheney attended a luncheon with the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, and presented the association a check for $10,000 from the proceeds of her book sales.

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