Avon Crawford born circa 1940 was my fifth and sixth grade teacher at Perkins Elementary School in Des Moines. From 1968-1970 she taught me English mathematics and much more. She was a gifted teacher who had the ability to challenge a 10-year-old mind.
To this day I remember a section she taught on "thinking skills"--my classmates and I learned not through rote memorization but by analyzing deliberating and being creative. Mrs. Crawford taught us about advertising methods in the print and electronic media; I have been on the lookout for bait-and-switch ever since.
In 1968 I took part in my first election. Hubert Humphrey was running against Richard Nixon but Democrats and Republicans took a back seat to the Bravimites and Litanians. Mrs. Crawford had divided the 18 students in our class into two political parties; we selected the names the platforms and the candidates. We ran a campaign for president and vice president of the class; unfortunately the Bravimites (my party) lost a close race. But we learned firsthand how important politics government and democracy were to the structure of society even if that society was just a fifth-grade classroom.
Perhaps that early taste of politics led me to pursue a degree in Political Science at Iowa State. It certainly got and kept me interested in government and politics. I credit Avon Crawford for guiding me in that direction and helping me to see the importance of good writing clear thinking and a positive vision. She took me seriously as a person not just treating me like a kid and I am grateful for that.
Avon Crawford left teaching several years ago to run a business. She owned and operated Roosevelt Fabrics in Des Moines until approximately 1990. She is now back teaching 5th grade at Stowe Elementary in Des Moines.