Second-graders at Wetumpka Elementary School filled the school’s auditorium on Feb. 28 for the kickoff event of the Liberty Learning Foundation’s Super Citizens program.
Principal Dr. Bonnie Sullivan said it was the first time the school had participated in the program and was thrilled to offer it to her students.
“We are so excited to be kicking off the program you all have been working on,” Sullivan said.
Cynthia Green with the Liberty Learning Foundation added, “We are so excited to be here. The Liberty Learning Foundation is all about helping you learn more about our country.”
After greetings from Sullivan and Green, Libby Liberty made her appearance for the program. Libby, dressed up as the Statue of Liberty, got the students excited for the Super Citizens program the school’s second-graders will be taking part in over the next several weeks.
During her presentation, Libby told the students more about herself, including how she was built, how she got her greenish color and other interesting facts. Built out of copper, Libby said oxidation brought about a change in the statue’s color; it was designed and built in France before being shipped to the United States and constructed on what is today known as Liberty Island.
One fascinating fact Libby shared with the students was something few people know — there are broken chains at the feet of the statue, not easily seen around the bottom of the statue’s robe.
More than simply sharing facts about the Statue of Liberty, Libby explained how the program would teach students the importance of holding the title of “citizen” and the value of the freedoms every U.S. citizen enjoys every day. She added how the second-graders going through the program could make a big difference and be super citizens, helping those around them and doing the right thing to benefit their communities and country.
“We want to spread the word about our country and its history,” Libby said. “We all share in the same freedoms.”
Libby mentioned how the classes would work together and, during the graduation celebration at the program’s conclusion, would recognize a “Helping Hands” hero. This hero, who will receive a special pin in the shape of the Statue of Liberty, can be anyone the students feel embodies the spirit of being a true American and is always willing to help others.
“I symbolize the American Dream and that’s what we believe your heroes symbolize as well,” Libby said.
Among the special guests at Thursday morning’s event were Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis, Elmore County Commissioner Troy Stubbs, representatives from the Elmore County Board of Education and four firefighters from the Wetumpka Fire Department. Willis offered a few remarks, thanking the school after one of its classes created art to be auctioned off for tornado relief and voicing his thoughts on the program.
“This is a great program,” Willis said.
The program concluded with Libby going around the auditorium and taking group photos with each of the homeroom classes before the students returned to their classrooms.