Another year has come to an end for those students who are apart of the Champions Program of Clinton City and Sampson County schools.
School officials, along with the support of the Civitans Club, honored the students during a special banquet and celebration Friday morning at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center. Students, teachers and guests were able to take a trip to the jungle, as Heritage Hall had been decorated with animals and trees.
According to Faith Jackson, who is the community liaison for Clinton City Schools and a former EC teacher who has a passion for the Champions Program, students who have either a physical or mental disability and are a part of the exceptional children’s program through Clinton City or Sampson County schools are invited to the end-of-the year celebration for entertainment, fun and food.
“This has been an amazing year for the Champions Program,” Jackson shared as she welcomed the hundreds of students and teachers involved in Friday’s activity.
Around 200 students from all five schools in the city’s district and 15 schools in Sampson County’s district participate in the yearly events. Each month, programs are held for the students to serve as a learning opportunity. Students who are part of the program coordinate the monthly meetings.
“This is a great opportunity for students to see other students who have similar challenges and acquaint themselves with a socially protected environment,” Jackson added. “During our meetings, the students are able to do activities that aren’t done in the regular classroom on a weekly basis and take field trips.”
Friday’s Champions Program offered guests with special entertainment from two students, Eugene McFadden, who is a senior at Clinton High School and E’licia Morrisey.
Miss North Carolina Kate Peacock, who is a graduate of Midway High School and a native to Sampson County, paid a special visit and recognized those students who have a birthday from April-August.
Donna Odom was acknowledged for her years of service to the Champions Program, which has been around for more than 20 years, as she is retiring this year.
“Donna has been instrumental in helping continue this program,” Jackson said.
Nine seniors were recognized and given gifts for their accomplishments during their 13 years of school.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.