From patriotism to patina and the pursuit of happiness to the power of citizenship, a walking, talking Statue of Liberty is laying the foundation for the next great Americans.
Thanks to the Alfa Foundation’s donation of over $32,000, the Huntsville-based Liberty Learning Foundation is bringing its Super Citizen Program to 47 schools in 17 Alabama counties.
The 10-week curriculum teaches first- through fifth-graders about civics, character, financial literacy, careers and social studies.
“Our children are our future, and teaching kids to be well-rounded, responsible and civically engaged is a serious task,” said Jimmy Parnell, Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Federation president. “Partnering with Liberty Learning to help fund this program in schools across the state is a way to prepare students to become great American citizens. The curriculum involves students in community work and will make an impact on the rest of their lives.”
Libby Liberty, portrayed by former Broadway actress Kristen Sharp, kicks off each school’s learning experience with a high-energy assembly. Students don patina-colored crowns, wave miniature American flags and begin a journey that will teach them to fully appreciate American freedom and liberty.
“We couldn’t bring the program to schools, train the teachers and orchestrate these engaging events free of charge without the partnership we have with generous sponsors like Alfa,” said Patti Yancey, Liberty Learning Foundation president.
This is Dawn Stewart’s second year teaching the Super Citizen curriculum at Pick Elementary School in Auburn. The third-grade teacher said the civics-based materials and books from Liberty Learning are especially important in an election year.
“We’ll teach them about the entire voting process,” Stewart said. “This just makes the learning process come alive for the kids.”
To conclude the 10-week program, students will honor local heroes later this year. Students will read their hero nomination essays and present each Super Citizen recipient with a Statue of Liberty replica trophy. The trophy contains fragments of the actual Statue of Liberty in New York.
“It helps them bring their learning full-circle,” Yancey said. “They learn that when you honor a hero, you become a hero.”
This year’s Alfa-Sponsored Super Citizen Program will be in Barbour, Coffee, Crenshaw, Cullman, Escambia, Etowah, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lee, Marengo, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Talladega and Winston counties.
Since 2010, the Liberty Learning Super Citizen Program has reached over 81,000 students and honored almost 1,400 local heroes.
For more information on Liberty Learning, visit LibertyLearning.org.