FOES students honor heroes, graduate as Super Citizens

Forest Oaks Elementary School second graders gathered in the FOES cafeteria to celebrate their graduation from the Super Citizen Program on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

The Super Citizen Program is a 10-week program where students learn about civic responsibility and history.

“The kids learned wonderful lessons about veterans, American symbols, immigrants, famous Americans and about what makes a person a hero.” said Liberty’s Legacy Vice-President of Development Becky Saunders.

During the program, each class selected a member of the Chelsea community who displayed the qualities of a hero.

“They began talking about what makes a hero. By doing that, they start to identify characteristics about people right here in their community who are heroes,” Sanders said.

The selected heroes were honored at graduation by a brief presentation and a torch pin.

“They collaborate and they write an essay about their person. The beauty of it is that you see a second grader take the stage and speak into a microphone in front of hundreds of people. It helps the students to understand that everyday people around us can make a difference in their communities and can help others,” Saunders said.

“We hope they find as many super citizens to identify with as possible. It gives them someone to look at and say, ‘hey, that’s something I want to do one day.’”

Students began the program with a kickoff celebration, which featured a live Statue of Liberty impersonator, interactive videos and sing-alongs.

“We came to the school 10 weeks ago and had a kickoff. Lady Liberty live was here, all in green. With her presence and her performance, sets the stage for the program,” Saunders said.

Sanders thanked FOES teachers who collaborated with Liberty’s Legacy to incorporate the program in the school’s curriculum.

“They really embraced the program. The students come in really excited, which tells you that these teachers have really put a lot of effort into implementing the program into their classrooms,” Saunders said.

According to Saunders, what students learn through the Super Citizen Program will help them throughout their lives.

“What we’re seeing is that civic education has fallen by the wayside in public education,” Saunders said.

“Through our research and development, we realized that we had to start at a very young age. This lays the foundation for them to understand what it means to be part of something bigger than themselves.”

Liberty’s Legacy plans to return to FOES in the future, and Saunders said they enjoyed working with the school.

“We’ll be back next year. It’s a beautiful school district, and the administration is so accommodating. We go to a lot of schools, and it’s just a fantastic experience here,” Saunders said.

This is the second year that FOES has taken part in the Super Citizen Program. FOES participation in the program was sponsored by the Shelby County Community Alliance.