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Horizon, Mill Creek graduate Super Citizens, honor heroes

At Super Citizen graduation, Mill Creek Elementary School fifth-graders honored community heroes. Youth who participated included Jack Naefe, front from left, Lily Naefe, Victoria Tarver, Alex King and Kaitlyn Taylor. Honorees were Julia Naefe (accepting for Rhonda Gilmore), back from left, Officer Patrick Niles, Allen King and Derek Sancho. (CONTRIBUTED)
At Super Citizen graduation, Mill Creek Elementary School fifth-graders honored community heroes. Youth who participated included Jack Naefe, front from left, Lily Naefe, Victoria Tarver, Alex King and Kaitlyn Taylor. Honorees were Julia Naefe (accepting for Rhonda Gilmore), back from left, Officer Patrick Niles, Allen King and Derek Sancho. (CONTRIBUTED)
Fifth-graders at Horizon Elementary School were eager to honor Leanne McGee as a hometown hero during Super Citizen graduation. (CONTRIBUTED)
Fifth-graders at Horizon Elementary School were eager to honor Leanne McGee as a hometown hero during Super Citizen graduation. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Approximately 200 fifth-graders at Horizon and Mill Creek elementary schools honored hometown heroes as part of their Super Citizen Graduation Celebration.

The fifth-graders celebrated completing Liberty Learning Foundation’s 10-week study about traits of a true citizen, including character building, financial literacy and American civics.

Mill Creek’s graduation was March 31 and Horizon’s was April 2. Liberty Learning’s curriculum showed the importance of students’ roles in America’s future.

Super Citizen study actually launched on Jan. 9 when the “Next Great Americans” Tour Bus with Libby Liberty herself arrived to perform for Madison City Schools students.

One project-based learning activities involved classes “looking in their communities to heroes who impact their lives every day. They weren’t looking for the actor on TV or the professional basketball player but real people who touch their lives every day,” Liberty Learning Director of Public Affairs Barbara Sumner said.

After deciding on a person to recognize, classes raised money to buy a Statue of Liberty replica for each honoree to accept at the Super Citizen graduation.

Mill Creek fifth-graders honored four heroes. Officer Patrick Niles with Madison Police Department coordinates the “Too Good for Drugs” initiative. Rhonda Gilmore serves as Girl Scout leader for students with special needs.

Mill Creek also recognized Allen King, a senior at James Clemens High School, who mentors and tutors the elementary students. Derek Sancho, who works as Mill Creek custodian, constantly encourages students and offers his help.

At Horizon, Leanne McGee was the fifth-grader’s choice for Super Citizen. McGee participates in many of Horizon’s programs, including the school newsletter, International Night, while offering support to any her four children’s teachers.

Sponsors for Super Citizen programs in Madison City Schools are the Madison County Commission, Jane K. Lowe Foundation and Belk.

Liberty Learning Foundation bridges the gap between under-funded schools and donors who believe strong civic character must be taught despite budget cuts, Sumner said.

For more information, visit LibertyLearning.org.

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