Parents, friends and peers joined in the celebration as the fifth-grade students were presented certificates and trophies.
Recipients of this year's awards were: Teresa Beck, William Blackwell, Claudia Bowling, Daniel Denton, Karlee Duncan, Taylor Guyton, Arianna Heil, Kins Hooper, Zachary Hovey, Shelby Keller, Hayden Moore, Dylan Shipton, Grace Stone and Brody Swafford.
The accomplished students also performed the six components of the award. Students must recite from memory “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, all U.S. Presidents in chronological order, the 50 United States and their capitals in alphabetical order and write out the Pledge of Allegiance from memory.
Hopewell Principal Tim Riggs announced that 167 students have earned the "Great American" designation in the seven years the program has been in place at the school. Hopewell students have the opportunity to begin memorizing and reciting the components in the third and fourth grades, with the completion ceremony being held in fifth grade.
The Great American Award was first established by a teacher in Colorado and was designed to go beyond the curricula to promote patriotism and enrichment. Hopewell Elementary instituted the Great American program in 2007. A group of ladies from Hopewell Baptist Church have become the sponsors and cover the expenses of the award.
"Our fifth-grade students are extremely grateful to receive their beautiful trophies and certificates,” fifth-grade teacher Melinda Braunstein said, adding that they were also treated to pizza and cake. “We could not provide this award without the generosity of these faithful friends of Hopewell. Students, parents and teachers work very hard to present this program each spring."