The four schools from Shelby County are Chelsea Park Elementary, Chelsea Middle School, Helena Middle School, and Shelby County High School. They are among 200 schools across the state to earn the designation.
Launched by Governor Ivey in December 2017, the Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative encourages all public, private, and homeschool students and teachers to participate in the celebration of Alabama’s 200th anniversary of statehood in 2019. In early 2018, all K-12 schools in Alabama were invited to submit a proposal that engages in outreach and improvement projects to connect their classrooms with their local communities.
From a competitive pool of nearly 400 proposals, 200 schools were selected to be official Alabama Bicentennial Schools and receive $2,000 grants to support the implementation of their projects. Additionally, 56 schools received honorable mentions and $500 grants. Schools were chosen through a review process involving committees of local educators, community leaders, and private citizens.
“It makes me so proud to see such a strong showing of schools participating in the program. It is an honor to recognize these outstanding schools and their projects as we head into Alabama’s bicentennial year,” Governor Ivey said. “The Alabama Bicentennial celebration is about bringing communities together and getting all of our citizens involved. The schools being honored are a great representation of that goal.”
Representing all corners of the state, the selected schools have developed a wide variety of projects that will make meaningful contributions to their local communities. Ranging from oral history projects to community gardens to mentorship programs, these projects will foster new relationships between schools, students, and local citizens, extending well beyond Alabama’s bicentennial celebration.
“One of the core objectives of the bicentennial is to get Alabamians thinking about what makes our state special, and what they want it to be,” said Steve Murray, co-chair of the Bicentennial Commission’s Education Committee. “The terrific projects developed by the Alabama Bicentennial Schools will create opportunities for students to learn about the importance of community, and to discover the ability they have to shape the future of their corner of the state.”
The Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative is presented in partnership by Alabama 200, the Alabama Department of Archives and History, and the Alabama State Department of Education.