Tampa, Florida - A 10-year-old 5th grader from Griffin Elementary has had a close up seat to this year's presidential election. Names like Huckabee, Romney, McCain, Clinton and Giuliani are now part of the young reporter's resume.
"I asked them about education, health care, small business and the War in Iraq," says Shelby Fallin.
For nearly a year, Shelby has covered the presidential campaign in Florida for Scholastic News Magazine as part of its Kids Press Corps. All seven of her articles have appeared online or in the magazine distributed to schools.
Shelby hopes her readers understand their roles as voters one day, "I want them to learn all about politicians, because it's going to be us running the country one day. We need to learn about it."
Click here to read Shelby's articles.
We first met Shelby in January. Her goal then was to interview John McCain and Hillary Clinton and she did both.
Clinton gave her this advice: "You don't want to copy whoever someone else wants you to be. You want to be yourself the best you can be I thought that was really neat."
She says McCain gave her respect, "I think he was really nice. He didn't talk to me like a little kid, he answered my questions really well and he took me really serious."
Candidates who didn't take her seriously, Shelby stood up to.
"I had to be tough, ask more serious, tough questions."
Her favorite two articles include one on the Disney Channel kid stars. The other article is on former Republican Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani. Shelby got a tour of Giuliani's bus and learned something new.
"That his favorite ice cream is chocolate chip," says Shelby.
Shelby's year-long experience on the campaign trail showed her reporting isn't as glamorous a job as people think especially when you are waiting for candidates, "We had to stay outside three hours. He finally showed up, so cold out there."
When asked who will win, she holds true to a journalist's golden rule and stays objective. "I think it's going to be a close race."
Shelby's campaign coverage continues on Election Day. She's one of seven students nation-wide selected to be at Scholastic headquarters in New York City. Shelby and the rest of the Kids Press Corp will recap the historic election during a webcast on November 3rd starting at noon.
Click here for the webcast on November 3rd.