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Historical Figures Pay a Visit to Van Cort School

MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. - Abraham Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt and Barack Obama were among the dignitaries who made an "appearance" Tuesday at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School's annual Government Tea.

The highly anticipated event, now in its eighth year, is the culmination of a month-long project for 110 fifth-graders who select an historical figure, research their life and take on their persona.

"This event is their celebration," said Principal Jacqueline Woodruff. "They're so into this and learning in this type of venue. It's a very exciting event. The students just love it."

Alexander Chuchuca studied President Obama and was so impressed he said he would vote for him if he were old enough.

"He helped break the barrier between different races," he said.

Julia Brisson also chose a president, the nation's first, George Washington, who she discovered enjoyed the theater.

"He seemed very interesting. He was also very smart," Brisson said.

Laura Pintado was one of several students who decided to transform into Susan B. Anthony.

"She spoke about human rights," Pintado said. "She also spoke out against alcohol abuse among teenagers."

Kurt Biedermann wasn't familiar with President Ronald Reagan but learned a lot about him, including his fondness for jelly beans, which the student displayed in a jar.

"He had a great sense of humor," Biedermann said.

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