There Ought to Be a Law: A Bright Day at the State Capitol

By Portia Bright-Pittman

Pitt County entrepreneur and N. C. General Assembly legislative assistant has coauthored a children’s book that is getting much acclaim.

There Ought to Be a Law—A Bright Day at the Capitol” teaches children, ages 6-9, about the legislative process in a fun, engaging way. The book is endorsed by a state senator and local education experts.

Portia Bright Pittman is coauthor of the just released book, which won the “5-Star Medallion,” the highest possible award by the prestigious “Reader’’ Favorite” book review company. The award-winning book teaches children how to pass an “anti-bullying” law and takes them on an thrilling adventure through the state legislature. Pittman’s coauthor is ECU Professor Dr. Calvin Mercer, who served on the Greenville City Council for a decade.

“The middle of an election season is a great time to help children understand government and the political process,” Pittman said. “It’s never too early to begin engaging our leaders of tomorrow. We want this resource to be helpful to parents, grandparents, teachers, and others who work with children.”

Advance copies of the book have drawn praise from teachers, elected officials, and professors of education. North Carolina State Senator Don Davis said, “As a legislator, I can’t think of anything better than this book to explain to youth how laws are made. What a wonderful contribution to the education of our youth who are our future!” 

“I loved the book! I wish I’d had access to this book ‘back in the day’ when I was teaching fourth grade social studies and needed a more realistic way to explain laws and legislative processes,” Dr. Patricia Anderson, East Carolina University Professor of Elementary Education, said. “The day ends in a long-awaited trip to get ice cream, and the reader can almost taste the deliciousness of the treat along with the fun of learning. The mixture of messages against bullying makes for some subtle learning about the negative effects of bullying for children.”

Beth Uffers, Pitt County, NC, Teacher of the Year, noted that “the book addresses stereotypes and is inclusive of different races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and gender. I am excited about seeing this book in our classrooms!”

“We both are excited at opportunities to work with youth and are passionate about doing our part to make government work well for citizens,” Coauthor Pittman said. “The groundwork for learning how government works and its impact on our lives start at a young age. We want youth to know they can be a leader in their school, faith community, and neighborhood. The book helps them see they can change their world for the better.”

“I’ve written a number of books for adults,” coauthor Dr. Calvin Mercer said. “But coauthoring this book to help youth understand the legislative process has been a highlight of my career. My volunteer work in my wife’s church youth group gave me valuable insights into communicating well with this age group.”

The book’s 5-Star rating in every category—appearance, plot, development, formatting, and overall score—was awarded by Readers’ Favorite, the fastest growing book review and award contest company, which has earned the respect of renowned publishers.

Pittman leads programs for schools, faith communities, and civic groups about the legislative process. Contact her at for details or go to

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