Sudlersville Middle School Ecology Corps Program was honored with the 2013 Character Counts! “Pillar of Character Award”. This award program honors an individual, a business, government
agency, non-profit organization, and school students who have exemplified the Spirit of the Character Counts! program through their actions and deeds. Nominees must reside or work in Queen Anne’s County and must participate in and demonstrate the Six Pillars of Character– Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.
The Sudlersville Middle School Ecology Corps currently has 51 members who meet every Wednesday for two hours after school. SMS Ecology Corps students participate in scientific study and community service projects during the school year, and at least four field trips, including an extended summer session. Students must also must maintain a grade of “C” or better in all their courses, sign the pledge to be ethical, demonstrate a cooperative attitude, write essays and collect at least 50 aluminum cans for recycling. Their parents must volunteer to attend at least one event during the year as well. The program has been in existence for over 20 years and while they exist on a number of grants statewide and nationally this is the first time the county has recognized them locally. Dr. Darryl Calloway, Founder and Co-Advisior of the SMS Ecology corps with Mr. Barry Conner and Mr. Bittler, says “It is gratifying to see the students being recognized locally for the great work and things they do all year long.”
In December the Students of the Ecology Corps were honored at a Commissioners Meeting where their award was presented. When Corps members and siblings Linden and Cailin Wright were asked how they felt about receiving the award, they said, “We felt very confident when receiving the award. We felt proud to be representing the Ecology Corps. We knew the Ecology Corps had earned this award, because we as a group always strive to meet expectations of good character. As members, it was a real honor to be given the chance to represent the Ecology Corps as it was recognized for its achievements.”
Proud student members were asked various questions about the Ecology Corps and they responded as follows:
How does this award make you feel?
“This award makes me feel proud. We are making a positive change in the world.”
“It makes me feel like the Ecology Corps is helping more than just the school.”
What do you like about the Ecology Corps?
“It’s lots of fun and we get to help out the community.” –Amelia Salisbury
“Everything!” –Audrey Karbaum
What is your favorite Ecology Corps activity?
“The field trips we go on are really cool.” –Ruth Murdoch
“I like going outside and doing outdoor activities.” –Olivia Whitehair
How do you feel you are contributing to the community? Why is it important to you and the community?
“I feel like helping the environment will help the community and many more with it.”
“I feel that every little thing we do, even recycling, impacts the community. I feel like a part of something in the community.” –Grace Sweetak
How does the Ecology Corps relate to the value of the Six Pillars? How do the activities of the Corps build your character?
“It relates to trustworthiness. We are trusted to do good jobs. We become better people doing what we’re supposed to do.” –Andrew Brewer
“It’s about respect. We respect the community and nature. We are trusted to do the right thing and not goof-off. We learn to work hard and be better people.” –David Alexander
Applications for 2014 Pillar of Character Award can be found at www.peopleofcharacter.org or at the Character Counts! Office at 104 Powell Street in Centreville. Please send your applications to Jacki Carter at CC! P.O. Box 418 Centreville, MD 21668. Feel free to contact Jacki at 410-758-6677 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. QAC Character Counts! is a part of Community Partnerships for Children & Families, our Local Management Board.