SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Second and fifth grade students gathered at Pinecrest Elementary School to recognize hometown heroes for their dedication to Sylacauga.  

The Learning Liberty Foundation hosted the event as a conclusion of a 10 week program called “The Next Great Americans.” Second grade students from Indian Valley Elementary and fifth grade students from Pinecrest Elementary participated.

The event began with four students leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. The host, Kelli Dodd, began by recognizing special guest from the major sponsor ALFA. Before the guest of honor took the floor, the audience watched a short video highlighting the kick off event for the program. Students from different elementary classes walked up to the microphone to deliver a brief biography on the hero their class was recognizing.

After all the heroes were recognized, the children heard a video message from Libby Liberty, the foundation’s spokesperson. She said it was important to implement all they learned about good citizenship and being a role model into their daily lives. Students took a pledge signifying the completion of the program. The second graders gave the “Helping Hands” pledge while fifth graders recited the “Super Citizen” pledge. Each student that participated also received a certificate recognizing their hard work put into the program.

Dodd returned to the lectern with closing remarks. But before adjourning, the students wearing matching patriot T-shirts, Lady Liberty hats, and waving American flags in their hands sang and danced to the foundation’s song “You in the USA” to remind the students of how much fun they had over the ten weeks.

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“This program inspires students, the leaders of tomorrow, to take pride in themselves and in their communities,” said Dodd. “It puts “character in context” through lessons about financial literacy, career readiness and civic education.  The students honor heroes who have inspired them to be the citizens they are called to be.  Our belief is that these role models and values will help instill life-long change in our communities, country and world.” 

The following local super citizens selected from Indian Valley Elementary School were Lakeisha Crocker, elementary school music teacher, recognized by Landon Crocker; Brittany Pruett, representative of the Parent Teacher Organization at Indian Valley Elementary, recognized by Mackenzie Pruett; Nate Brewer, custodian at Indian Valley Elementary, recognized by Wilson Patterson; Chris Wykoff, Sylacauga Police Department, recognized by Abigail Wykoff; Lee Perryman, Marble City Media and Sylacauga City Councilman, recognized by Madison Vincent and Alana Bruno; Nakia Morris, Alabama Department of Corrections, recognized by Zydreia Morris; Mitzi Smith, from Ribbons of Hope, recognized by Ian Kirkland; and Selena Felkins, 25 year veteran teacher of the Sylacauga City Schools System.

The following local super citizens selected from Pinecrest were Randy Robinson, Pinecrest lunchroom staff, recognized by Gracie Peoples; Sheila Giddens, Pinecrest nurse, recognized by Catherine Abernathy; and Mandy Reams, professional exercise and Kids Fit instructor, recognized by Brycen Wilson.

“This was a great surprise,” said Perryman. “I am very proud to be a part of the event and thank everyone who participated.”

Audience members said the program was a great message for young students to be great citizens within the Sylacauga community and in America.

Caitlyn McTier for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2016, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.