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RMS students present projects at Good Characters Expo

Students at Russellville Middle School presented their service learning projects at a Good Characters Expo Nov. 30 in the school gym. They shared what they have been learning and – in some cases – putting into practical use with community members, mentors and peers.

After weeks in Liberty Learning Foundation’s American Character Program, learning about historical figures who transformed the United States, students were challenged to begin transforming things themselves.

At the Wednesday event, students shared how they formed groups, identified problems, worked with local mentors and began taking action. In addition to civics and character learned in the program’s curriculum, they gained real-world practice in collaboration, service, empathy, compassion and communication.

The gym was filled with a number of posters with photos and explanations of the various projects. Among the service learning project topics were teacher assistance, driving safety, anti-bullying, resisting peer pressure, anti-drugs and help for children in foster care, as well as many others.

Members of the Life Savers group learned about working to help prevent suicide and to promote awareness of options for help. Group members included Yosilin Lopez, Abigail Coronado and Jazara Byrd.

“I learned that 800,000 people die every year from suicide,” explained Byrd. “Our project focused on learning how to work to prevent suicide and on increasing awareness of the issues involved.

Members of the Clean Up Crew group included Lizandra Carrillo, Lindsey Diaz, Yaritza Perez, Xinena Torres and Ana Pedro. “We enjoyed learning about how to clean up the environment,” said Carrillo.

Book Brothers group members included Santiago Hernandez, Sir Williams, Brayden Entrekin, Tristan White and Dylan Morgan, who explained their book donation project. “We gave books to our school to help improve opportunities for reading,” said Williams.

“I enjoyed giving books to the library,” added White. “I like that it helps other kids be able to read more, and maybe it will inspire them about what they might be able to do in the future.”

RMS Principal Tony Bonds expressed his admiration of all the projects.

“I’m incredibly proud of what the students have accomplished with their projects,” explained Bonds. “They have expressed a lot of very heartfelt and sincere ideas, and I love the fact that a lot of them have put into practice what they’ve been learning and helping the community.”

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