By John Ward
INDIANAPOLIS — Fourth grader Kayla Xu has been lobbying for years to make the firefly Indiana’s state bug. On Tuesday, she got a little closer to her goal.
As she sat in the Indiana House listening to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s State of the State address, she heard the state’s highest elected official advance her brainchild. Holcomb, in his speech, encouraged lawmakers to enact legislation to make the firefly Indiana’s state bug.
Her classmates from Lafayette watched the State of the State from the governor’s office.
Kayla Xu looks on as her mother, Lan Zhao talks to First Lady Janet Holcomb. Photo by John Ward, The StateHouseFile.com
The idea was born as Kayla was working on a school project in second grade when she noticed that other states had state insects but Indiana did not. She promptly went to her teacher, who helped her research how to begin the process of getting Indiana its own official state bug.
Xu said her reasoning for choosing the firefly was that it is her favorite insect but also because according to her research, “the term firefly originated in Indiana.”
“She’s learned a lot during this process,” said her mother, Lan Zhao. “Although it’s very hard and it’s took so many years, in the end I think perseverance, and whatever the result is, that’s one of the important things she has learned from this.”
Although it hasn’t been approved, Holcomb encouraged Xu and her classmates, saying he believes lawmaker support the measure and Xu’s lobbying will pay off.
Xu said her experience in the Statehouse has been an experience she won’t forget, and she’s learned a lot about how government works, and wants to use what she’s learned to grow up to one day be mayor.
John Ward is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.