UNA Pressroom

Kilby School Selected As Official Alabama Bicentennial School Of Excellence

Sep. 24, 2019

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, AL - Earlier this month, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that Kilby Laboratory School has been selected as one of the 21 Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence.

The announcement was made at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) in Montgomery, where Gov. 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 Gov. Ivey in December of 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 of 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 celebrations.

Alabama's 200 Bicentennial Schools submitted their final reports in August. Community leaders from across the state served on committees tasked with evaluating each project and selecting 21 schools, three from each congressional district, to receive the additional designation of Alabama's 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 Dec. 14, which is the culmination of Alabama's bicentennial.

Kilby used the initial Alabama 200 Bicentennial grant to create opportunities designed to teach students about the state of Alabama. Faculty members generated courses and events that educated students across multiple academic areas. These lessons and events allowed students to demonstrate their own work through various media outlets.

"Being selected as an Alabama 200 Bicentennial School of Excellence is a huge honor, and it really speaks to the hard work and focus of our Kilby faculty, staff, and students," said Dr. Eric Kirkman, an Assistant Professor of Education and the Kilby Laboratory School Director. "Because of the initial Alabama 200 Bicentennial grant, we were able to provide so many wonderful enrichment opportunities for our students, exposing them to so much rich history that can be found right here in North Alabama. The Kilby faculty was masterful in embedding math, science, history, engineering, and even the arts into their Bicentennial lessons. This has truly been a great experience for everyone involved."

Gov. Ivey said student engagement is critical.

"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 in the next 200 years and beyond," she said. "I am proud to award grants to 21 schools to carry out their community service engagement projects. This is an exciting time for our state, and I am glad to see our young people taking initiative."

Steve Murray director of the ADAH and co-chair of the Bicentennial Education Committee, said the projects from schools across Alabama have been inspiring.

"The 21 Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence embraced the spirit of the bicentennial in inspiring ways," he 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."


About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I's ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/