TIS students celebrate citizenship, local heroes

ALABASTER – Thompson Intermediate School fifth graders celebrated their journey through the Super Citizens program and honored the adults in their lives who they view as heroes during a ceremony at Thompson High School on the morning of Friday, Nov. 3.

At the ceremony, students honored their heroes by speaking about their contributions to the community and presenting them with a small replica of the Statue of Liberty.

“There are so many walks of life that are being represented today,” TIS Principal Brent Byars said.

Among the selected heroes were parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, school faculty and other notable locals.

“Whenever there’s bad weather, he stays up all night to keep us aware of the weather,” one student said of her hero, local meteorologist James Spann.

The Super Citizen program is run by the Liberty’s Legacy, an educational, civic organization that promotes good citizenship to elementary school students.

For the past 10 weeks, Liberty’s Legacy Performance and Communications Specialist Kelli Dodd said TIS fifth graders have been taking classes on civics, character education, financial responsibility and career readiness.

“It’s important that we start to instill those values in them now, to take pride in themselves and in their communities, because they are the future. They will be the difference in this country,” Dodd said. “They focus on how our government works, how to make a budget, the history of the Statue of Liberty and what that means, as well.”

Byars said the program served as a great way to teach students about the merits and responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen.

“No matter what your job title may be one day, there is one of the most important titles, and that is of citizen,” Byars said to the students.

Dodd said using the ceremony to honor real-life heroes helped students take the lessons they learned through the Super Citizens program and apply them to everyday situations.

What’s really beautiful is that they’re taking all of these lessons that can be kind of abstract and global and they personalize it and make them very tangible for them.”

Dodd also thanked the Shelby County Community Alliance, which consists of many local businesses, and other sponsors for their continued support of the Super Citizens program.

“We wouldn’t exist without the funding and the donorship we have from our sponsors,” Dodd said. “We thank them and ask them to continue to help support us so that we can grow our mission.”