Student campaign raises recognition of Missouri’s own tropical treat
Ozarks banana. Hillbilly mango. American custard apple.
It’s been called by many different names, but the tropical-like pawpaw is now officially known as Missouri’s state fruit tree, thanks to a successful lobbying campaign by a group of fourth-graders who learned a civics lesson in the process.
“This project started during the presidential election in 2016,” said Mary McDevitt, who teaches at New City School, a private elementary school in St. Louis. “We study government in fourth grade, and we decided hold our own vote to elect a new state symbol for Missouri. I brought in some pawpaws from my backyard for the kids to try, and they got so excited and wanted to put it on the ballot.” . . . .