Libby Liberty reaches Shelby County kids with help from Corley Ellis

Published 4:10 pm Monday, September 25, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Students from four of Shelby County’s elementary schools were among those that took part in an active education program presented by the Liberty Learning Foundation thanks to a grant from Rep. Corley Ellis on Friday, Sept. 15.

The program is brought to students in the form of Libby Liberty, a living, breathing representation of the Statue of Liberty, which presents students with the program’s topics in a fun and engaging discussion complete with follow up programs the students will receive in the classroom through pre-recorded videos.

“I’ve partnered with the Liberty Learning Foundation in the past to bring their Lady Liberty program to some of my schools, just because they do such a wonderful job teaching civics and being responsible citizens to our kids,” Rep. Corley Ellis said. “Sometimes, we tend to lose that and not focus on that and (LLF) does a really good job about getting the kids excited about being good citizens. Whether that is volunteering at one of your nonprofits, becoming an elected official or whatever it is, they encourage kids to just be better citizens and give back to their community.”

Ellis personally helped supply the funds to bring the program to four schools that are within his representative district, which are Elvin Hill Elementary, Wilsonville Elementary, Shelby Elementary and Vincent Elementary School. Ellis’ grant allowed for all four of the schools to send their second-grade students to the Columbiana Arts Council to attend the event.

“We funded bus transportation for all four of those schools to come to the arts council in Columbiana and so the kick off was all four schools at one time,” Ellis said. “They all came into the grand hall there and we had one big kickoff.”

Students were all supplied with green paper crowns, resembling Lady Liberty’s, and American flags during the event and experienced an energetic presentation that kicked off the Super Citizen and Hands on Learning programs. The event is designed as the start to a 10-week-long program that will teach lessons in civics, character development, financial literacy and career readiness.

“Having them all brought to one location was fun and easy. It was fun for the kids, it makes it have a little bit more of an impact when the kids feel like they’ve gone somewhere and done something which makes it a little more impactful for the kids,” Ellis said. “They feel like they’ve been a part of something special and they have.”

Lessons introduced by Libby Liberty during the event will be followed back in the classroom by lessons proctored by Mr. Palmer, who is described as a “brash and brilliant hand-character,” that leads students in classroom video lessons.

“Getting to meet Libby—the kids really responded well to her,” Ellis said. “She does an excellent job of selling the program and getting it kicked off. I think that was probably the part that the kids enjoyed most. I get a little starstruck myself when I see Libby, so it’s a lot of fun for me too.”

Libby Liberty has also attended a number of other events that have reached students throughout the state of Alabama this month, and was also seen stepping away from her pedestal in Alabaster city schools and Chelsea as they too begin their Super Citizen Programs.