A Philadelphia School District third grade class has inspired no less a dignitary than the vice president - yes, of the United States - to use their words to draw national attention to an issue of great importance to them: gun violence.
Hillary Linardopoulos' students at Julia deBurgos Elementary in Fairhill, expert letter writers, penned the missives months ago. On Friday, they became the subject of a new episode of "Being Biden," an audio series produced by the White House. In it, the vice president shares a photo of himself and tells the story behind it.
"My mom used to have an expression: out of the mouths of babes come gems of wisdom," Biden said. "And these little kids, they understand, because they've seen the effects of gun violence in the streets."
Biden goes on to read excerpts from several students' letters.
"I heard you take care of gun violence," Ismael wrote. "Maybe no guns at all, but the police can get safety guns. That will change the world."
Jacob suggested a direct approach: "You can go out on the stage and just say, 'I want people to stop using guns.'"
Damaris wrote that "I want to discuss gun violence with you. Like, why do people use guns, and why do they kill people? Also, why don't people be kind to each other? I'm kind to everyone."
At the conclusion of the brief audio clip, Biden, who was invited to deBurgos and said he would try to visit, noted that "there's a lot we can do, and still allow people to hunt, still allow people to wisely use guns. These kids, these kids just don't understand why we can't do something." Underneath the photo of the vice president reading the Philly kids' letters, there's a link to the Obama administration's gun control plan.