Myrtlewood News & Headlines
Myrtlewood Elementary SELECTED AS
OFFICIAL ALABAMA BICENTENNIAL SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE
On September 3, 2019, Governor Kay Ivey announced that Myrtlewood Elementary has been selected as one of twenty-one Alabama Bicentennial School of Excellence. The announcement was made at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) in Montgomery, where Governor Ivey was joined by superintendents, principals, and teachers from the selected schools, along with legislators and other dignitaries from across the state. Each school also received a $5,000 Governor’s Award grant to support its continued commitment to student-led community engagement.
Launched by Governor Ivey in December 2017, the Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative encouraged all public, private, and homeschool students and teachers to participate in the celebration of Alabama’s 200th anniversary of statehood. In early 2018, all Alabama schools were invited to submit proposals for community service and engagement projects connecting classrooms with their local communities. In August 2018, 200 schools were selected as official Alabama Bicentennial Schools and received $2,000 grants to support the implementation of their projects.
Over the last year, Bicentennial Schools in every corner of the state developed projects that made meaningful contributions to their local communities. Ranging from oral history projects to community gardens to mentorship programs, these projects fostered new relationships between schools, students, and local citizens that will extend well beyond Alabama’s bicentennial celebration.
Alabama’s 200 Bicentennial Schools submitted their final reports in August 2019. Community leaders from across the state served on committees tasked with evaluating each project and selecting twenty-one schools, three from each congressional district, to receive the additional designation of Alabama Bicentennial School of Excellence. In addition to receiving the Governor’s Award grants, the Schools of Excellence will be invited to participate in commemoration ceremonies in Montgomery on December 14, 2019, the culmination of Alabama’s bicentennial.
Myrtlewood created a “Caring Closet” inside the school. It provides basic necessities, including meal kits, toiletries, school supplies, and clothing items for students, teachers, and their families. Working with community partners, the school has provided food and clothing to over two hundred students thus far.
“As Alabama nears 200 years of statehood, it is important to engage our students. After all, our students are the future of our state and the ones who will lead generations to come into the next 200 years and beyond,” Governor Ivey said. “I am proud to award grants to twenty-one schools to carry out their community service and engagement projects. This is an exciting time for our state, and I am glad to see our young people taking initiative.”
“The 21 Alabama Bicentennial Schools Excellence embraced the spirit of the bicentennial in inspiring ways,” Steve Murray, director of the ADAH and co-chair of the Bicentennial Education Committee, said. “The combination of innovation, hard work, and community service seen in these projects serves as a model for building a bright future in Alabama’s third century.”
The “Caring Closet” has provided so many opportunities for conversations with students. It has enabled us to removed any embarrassing stigma and replace it with a true sense of empathy.
The Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative is presented in partnership by Alabama 200, the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), and the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).
For a complete list of official Bicentennial Schools or for more information, visit www.alabama200.org.