By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Attalla Elementary School third, fourth and fifth graders learned about liberty last week from an impressive source – the Statue of Liberty herself – as the school kicked off an ambitious course of study aimed at helping students become “Super Citizens.”
A Huntsville-based program called “Liberty’s Legacy” brings the course of study to schools with lesson plans and program ideas designed to teach students lessons through their social studies classes about culture, government, historical figures, America’s national symbols and monuments and more.
Attalla Elementary School Vice Principal Sheila Lankford said the school found local sponsors to bring the program to each of the school’s 12 classes in 3rd-5th grades. The cost for sponsoring a class is $250.
Lankford said the program’s title is “Passing the Torch to the Next Generation,” and that is what it is designed to do.
“It spotlights children, to teach them to take the responsibility to be good citizens and to learn more about their country,” Lankford said. She said the program is aligned with the school’s social studies course of study.
“Liberty’s Legacy” brought a dynamic presentation to Attalla Elementary Tuesday (Oct. 2), with a video and musical presentation, and Rachael Rainwater, portraying Lady Liberty, who guided the presentation and gave students facts about the real Statue of Liberty and its history.
“If you come visit me in New York,” she explained. “I’ll look different.” She went on to explain that in her home overlooking New York Harbor, she stands 305 feet tall to the top of her torch, and visitors can climb 354 stairs to reach her crown.
Students sang and performed sign language along with Lady Liberty.
Patti Yancey of the Liberty’s Legacy Foundation said the students, parents and faculty should thank State Rep. Craig Ford for makingTuesday’s program, with the visit from Lady Liberty possible, and for providing them with classroom resources such as the crowns all the students wore to meet Lady Liberty.
Yancey told the Attalla students that each of them holds a title more important than that of the President of the United States: The title of citizen.
Tuesday’s kick off was just the start. Lankford said the program includes regular lessons for student – possibly one a day for the fifth graders, who will complete their Super Citizen studies in one year and have a graduation when their work is completed.
Liberty’s Legacy provides materials and will provide ongoing support for the teachers bringing these lessons to their students throughout the year.
Lankford said the fifth grade students will select someone they consider to be an outstanding citizen and will honor them. She said students will do writings about why the person selected is an outstanding citizen and what they’ve contributed to the community.
Students also will raise money to purchase a replica of the Statue of Liberty, containing material from the making of the actual Statue of Liberty, which will be presented to the selected outstanding citizen.