A group of Sullivan eleven year olds are working to make a difference in the state of Indiana. The impact the kids hope to make has to do with a peculiar little bug.
Colored pencils: Check.
Pencil eraser: Check.
Swaying lawmakers: Working on it.
It’s the latest project for Kevin Cross’ sixth grade Agriculture class.
“We are trying to make the Say’s Firefly the state insect,” Sixth grader Lee May said.
Cross’ students are busy writing letters to state lawmakers, Representative Bruce Borders and Senator Eric Bassler along with the Natural Resource Committee.
“Did you know that Indiana is one of only three states without a state insect?” May read from his letter.
Iowa and Michigan being the other two. So why the firefly?
“When we first started this, I wanted to get them kind of excited about it so I just started asking questions, like hey do you guys like bugs, ‘yeah, no and all the kind of stuff’ so what’s a bug everybody likes, and a whole bunch of them at the same time say, ‘oh, I like lightening bugs,'” Kevin Cross said.
Not only is the little yellow glow a favorite, it’s native to the state. Named after entomologist Thomas Say, the Say Firefly was established in New Harmony, Indiana.
That gives the state an edge in establishing the change. The majority of state insects around the nation are actually invasive species. And Cross’ students have learned a thing or two about the Firefly.
“I’ve learned that they can be really interesting at night because they glow up and then all of them stop at the same time,” Sixth grader Mikaila Brown said.
“They’re really fun to catch and to play with,” May said.
This is a class lesson that should stick around for a while.
“Kids are getting involved and kids are getting excited about politics and getting involved at the state level. I think we’ll make a significant impact,” Cross said.
“We are Mr. Cross’ sixth grade Ag class, please make the Firefly Indiana’s state insect,” the entire class said.
The class will send their letters next week. They’re also working on a petition in the area, hoping for 500 signatures.
If you’re interested in signing the petition, you can ask for Kevin Cross at Sullivan Middle School if instruction.
You can also follow the Sullivan FAA Agricultural Education Chapter on Twitter for campaign updates: @SullivanINFFA.
Or promote the campaign on social media using #Firefly4Indiana.