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Russellville, Belgreen hold final Liberty Learning events

Franklin County now has more “super citizens” than ever before.

Russellville and Franklin County students have wrapped this year’s participation in a citizenship program designed to help them recognize and become productive members of society.

After 10 weeks in Liberty Learning’s Super Citizen program, second-graders from the Franklin County school system gathered at Belgreen High School’s auditorium to celebrate what they learned and to honor those they selected as local heroes. Students read essays on stage before presenting their selected heroes with liberty pins.

“What an amazing day we had visiting Franklin County students as they graduated from the program,” said Tricia Bobo, vice president of Northwest Regional Development for Liberty Learning. “The students exceeded our expectations both academically and emotionally.”

Bobo said the students are already making a positive impact in the community by sharing the lessons they’ve learned – not only civics, character, finance and career lessons but also by their participation in the final program, where they got the opportunity to showcase local heroes by bringing them up on the stage and sharing the reasons they chose to honor them.

BHS Principal Megean Berryman said her students chose school nurse Traci Britton as their Super Citizen for the Helping Hands hero award. “She is very deserving of this,” said Berryman. “Traci goes above and beyond to keep our students safe and healthy, and we are blessed to have her.”

At Russellville Middle School, seventh-grade students participated in the #BeGoodCharacters Expo, the final event for those in Liberty Learning’s “American Character” program. Bobo explained for the past few months, RMS students were tasked with identifying challenges and preparing solutions to help fill community needs.

During the program, they consulted mentors, researched and designed plans and took action.

Liberty Learning actor and event assistant Tahauny Cleghorn said the students’ “vision, hard work and community service” are already shaping their community for the better. “These students are committed to making a positive difference.”

During the expo, students practiced communication and leadership skills while showing off and discussing their service projects. “They proved they are ready and willing to make a positive difference in our community, our country and the world, and they have already started to do so,” explained Bobo.

Community sponsors made the programs possible. “Without their support,” said RCS Superintendent Dr. Heath Grimes, “our students would miss out on this valuable learning experience.”

For RMS Assistant Principal Monica Moon, the focus of service, leadership and community impact is a big draw of participating in the program.

“It was a huge honor to witness our students delivering their project presentations,” she said, “and it stood to remind me just one more time how great it is to be a Golden Tiger.”

Rep. Jamie Kiel, Grimes and other community leaders attended the event to speak with students and learn about their projects.

“Liberty Learning provides an avenue for students to find a path to displaying the traits of good citizens,” said Kiel. “I am very impressed with the creativity and thoughtfulness the students displayed in coming up with, enacting and explaining their community service projects. They did a wonderful job thinking about how to help others and implementing plans to make it happen.”

“The students worked hard and really engaged with their learning by creating innovative ways to be a force for positive impact in our community,” added RMS Coach Jason Walker. “I am so proud of everything they have accomplished.”

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