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County students pledge to become ‘Super Citizens’ [with gallery]

Several Covington County fifth graders pledged to become Super Citizens yesterday at the Covington County Board of Education Central Office.

The group of fifth graders honored several of their own Super Citizens who ranged from grandparents to a sheriff’s deputy.

“Several weeks ago the fifth graders met with Lady Liberty and she taught them to take pride in themselves and their community,” Emily Tumlin from the Liberty Learning Foundation said. “They are taking this opportunity through this assembly to show appreciation towards real heroes.”

Through the Liberty Learning Foundation, fifth graders have been able to learn about civics, character, financial responsibility, career building and the American story.

“Today we are able to show our appreciation by honoring our community heroes,” Tumlin said. “The students have teamed up to nominate real heroes from their own lives. At the Liberty Learning Foundation, we believe that when you honor a hero, you become a hero. So let this be a reminder to all of us, that these students are always looking up to us as role models.”

The community heroes honored were Sandra McLeod, the nurse at Fleeta Jr. High; Sgt. Jeff Daniels from the Covington County Sheriff’s Department; Matt Smith; Cindy Phillips, a volunteer at Florala’s Christian Service Center; Terry Holley, the mayor of Florala; Jeff Burleson, a volunteer firefighter and president of Florala High School Athletic and Alumni Club; Wanda and Rickey Smith; and Kent Barnes.

The honorees received a small statue of the Statue of Liberty that contained the same material that the original Statue of Liberty is made of.

Chris Thomasson from the Covington County Central Office said that each year he has learned something new from the program.

“This is the third year that I have done this,” Thomasson said. “And each year I learn something new. Something always sticks to my heart about what they say or what they do. This year, the thing that stuck to my heart the most was when the little hand puppet said, ‘Part of being a good American is to control what comes out of your mouth and to control your actions.’”

Thomasson said that though that task sounds pretty simple, it is actually hard to do. “Think about it, if everyone in this room could master those two things, how great our schools would be, how great your friendships would be and how great your lives would be,” Thomasson said. “There would be no such thing as bullying. If we could control our mouths and control our actions, nobody would come to school worried about what they wore. Everybody would have friends everywhere they turned. So if you could learn one thing from this program, I hope that you take to heart what they said about being nice to others. Then we will have great schools and we will have great friends and nobody will ever feel like they are left out.”

The Liberty Learning Foundation is a non-profit organization facilitating active civics and character programs in K-12 classrooms and orchestrating immersive events that empower schools, parents, local leaders and businesses to take ownership in the future of community and country.