Alabaster students learn about civics during Super Citizen program

Published 2:13 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster children had the opportunity to learn about civics and to honor the local heroes that mean so much to them during their recent participation in the Super Citizen program.

The Liberty Learning Foundation’s Super Citizen program brought civic activities to fifth graders at Thompson Intermediate School and second graders from Creek View Elementary School and Meadow View Elementary School during the final celebration of the program in January.

“The students, teachers and administration of Alabaster City Schools always ensure that our program is a success, and this year was no different,” said Alicia Sherman, vice president of Regional Development for Central/West with the Liberty Learning Foundation. “The students honored some incredible heroes, and it was obvious that they had put a lot of thought into the process.”

After 10 weeks of learning in the Super Citizen program, students gathered together in the Thompson Middle School Auditorium to celebrate their accomplishments and honor personal heroes.

“What I really love about the program is (that) it teaches the kids a lot about citizenship, community (and) the fifth-grade aspect of (the program) has a financial (component) to it,” said Brent Byars, federal programs and elementary education supervisor for ACS.”

The program is designed to teach, inspire and empower students to engage in their civic responsibility, personal character, financial literacy and career skills/exploration.

“By reaching students at early reinforcement and retention touchpoints, the goal is to prepare students to become more engaged citizens, to ensure their passage of the mandated high school civics exam and to allow schools to comply with Alabama’s statute which requires schools to implement a comprehensive character education program,” Sherman said. “Our strategic growth ensures that students understand age-appropriate content that builds on itself and culminates into a meaningful community-oriented program.”

Alabaster students first participated in a kickoff performance back in September with the program’s mascot, Libby Liberty.

“The students loved learning all about being a Super Citizen,” ACS Teacher Stacey Bull said. “They especially loved learning about Lady Liberty and everything she stands for.”

After returning to classrooms, students began a 10-week resource kit that supplements current course of study standards.

“The students enjoyed learning about what it means to be a Super Citizen,” ACS Teacher Autumn Goggins said. “The lessons were engaging and the students loved Mr. Palmer. Their favorite part was singing along with Mr. Palmer and the Five Finger Band.”

Embedded in the program is a project based learning activity that allows students to look into their community to identify heroes based upon the criteria learned within the lessons.

“It helps the students to see that, no matter what they do when they grow up, no matter what their occupation is, no matter what their talents (or) their skills are—they can be a hero to someone else,” Byars said.

At the end of the program, students had the opportunity the bring their chosen hero on stage and share the reasons for why they chose to honor them.

The Liberty Learning Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded in October 2010 to bring strong lessons of “civic character and civic responsibility” to students throughout Alabama school systems.

“LLF is dedicated to changing the lives of individual students by empowering them to become informed independent thinkers and citizens who are motivated to improve their communities,” Sherman said. “We believe that motivated students become dependable employees, educated citizens, honest leaders, hard workers and good people who can make a lasting difference.”