(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Junior High Principal Randy Rose welcomed Huckabee and introduced her to the students.
"She and her husband, Governor Mike Huckabee, share a priority in making meaningful contributions to the lives of families and children. She accomplishes this goal by serving on the Baptist Health Foundation Board, the Arkansas Hospice Board, and the Central Arkansas Chapter of the American red Cross Board of Directors. She also serves on the Women's Build Steering Council and the International Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity. Taking opportunities to encourage young people Mrs. Huckabee has helped train them on how to respond to acts of violence and natural disasters with the Red Cross, she has conducted underage drinking forums with "leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free," and has promoted an international reading program by Heifer Project International that benefits hungry families around the world," Rose said.
Rose also introduced JoAnn Cardin, Leachville's beautification coordinator.
Huckabee spoke to the young students expressing her appreciation for their work in helping to keep Arkansas Beautiful.
"To me Arkansas is like a big house. It is important to take care of it. What would happen to your house if you just threw the trash in the floor and never picked it up? If you start at an early age, chances are you will continue to have good habits. If we see someone throw trash on the ground, in a nice way, we should remind them not to," Huckabee said.
She went on to tell the young people that it costs $4 million a year in Arkansas to pick up trash.
"Over 50 percent of the trash is blown out of the back of pick-up trucks. When you see people throw cigarettes out the windows of cars, that is trash that has to be picked up. We should remind people that Arkansas is not a trash bucket," she said. "I want you to enjoy our state called the Natural State and learn to take care of it. Leachville is a nice town. I appreciate these young people that gave their time to pick up trash. They are taking pride in their community."
Huckabee presented each participant with a certificate of appreciation. Students recognized were Curtis Warren, Daniel Harrison, Matthew Honnell, Brandon Atkeison, Dominique Marquez, Eric Puckett, David Penix, Adrienne Penix, Shelby Penix, Bailey Towell, Brogan Collins, Andy Cloninger, Rhonda Garrett, Sandy Miller, Robin Penix, Jennifer Penix, Chase Jackson, Adrian Mondragon, Dalton Womack, Angel Robins, and Holly Dempsey.
Coordinator JoAnn Cardin added her appreciation to the young people and thanked Huckabee for taking time to visit with the students.