I apologize for the delay in posting. Here at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, we have been swamped with work, and finding the time to write a few words has been tough, but I hope to get back on track! Let’s start with some excellent news.

As you are likely aware, Polk County has opened a new public K-8 school with a civics focus, called Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy. The FJCC is excited to be playing a small part in the school, offering support to teachers, students, and administration. To some degree, the school was sponsored by Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL 15th). In early December, the school had its official ‘Grand Opening’, and we were happy to be there.

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Citrus Ridge Grand Opening Program

My own favorite part of the program involved student leaders across the grade levels reading their essays on good citizenship, such as the young elementary student below, who will, I think, go on to big things one day!

Congressman Ross himself arrived just in time to speak to the audience of students, staff, parents, and community members. He spoke highly of the importance of civic education and of civility, and how important it is that we understand each other as citizens. He also officially presented to the school principal, Kathy Conely, a wonderful gift. It features the flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of Citrus Ridge, as well as Congressional documents and records announcing the creation of the school and its goals.

We also got a wonderful tour of the new school, led by students and the school administration, prior to a ribbon-cutting.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with Citrus Ridge and the great people there. You can see some much better pictures of the event at the Ledger! 

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