Alabama Governor Kay Ivey's visit to Webb Elementary School

State Rep. Paul Lee, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, and Karen Mann, Karen Mann, a gifted specialist at Webb Elementary and Houston County Schools Bicentennial representative, enjoy the school's All Things Alabama program Thursday.

WEBB – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey encouraged Webb Elementary School students to set high goals for themselves Thursday, something they have learned and practiced throughout this school year.

Ivey visited the Houston County school as it conducted its “All Things Alabama” program Thursday afternoon. Webb Elementary was one of 200 schools selected statewide as a “Bicentennial School” in the fall, a designation that earned the school a $2,000 grant to celebrate Alabama’s 200th birthday in various ways.

Students performed several songs during the celebration, including Alabama’s state song, “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “Oh, Susanna.” Ivey also addressed the student body of approximately 450 and encouraged them to have high aspirations.

“Alabama is where anything is possible,” she said. “You can dream about the future. You can dream about what you want your town and state to be. Your dreams are our future.”

Dreaming big is a lesson Webb students have learned throughout the year. Webb principal Marsha Shelley said several student projects highlighted various Alabamians who achieved great success or fame throughout the state’s 200-year history, including singers, actors, and astronauts.

Ivey’s appearance also confirmed to students that dreaming big yields results.

Part of the effort to coax Ivey to come involved each student writing a letter or submitting a picture to Ivey’s office. State Rep. Paul Lee and a student from each grade delivered the letters to Ivey’s office on March 7, said Karen Mann, a gifted specialist at Webb Elementary.

“We’ve been trying to get her here since September,” Mann said. “We took her the letters and kindly begged her to come. We never dreamed that she would. Then we got an email and a call that she was coming. It teaches kids that if you keep trying, it’ll pay off.”

In addition to Thursday’s program and several projects throughout the school year, Webb students also took field trips to local sites to learn about the area’s history, Shelley said. The bicentennial celebration efforts have inspired a love for Alabama that many students lacked prior to the projects, she added.

“Most of these children haven’t been all over the state of Alabama. They’ve been to Webb, Alabama,” Shelley said. “They really need to know about where they come from. Mrs. Mann said she had a child the other day say, ‘I love Alabama’ because they know about it now.”

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