Fort Deposit fifth grader displays Character in Action

Published 12:51 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Each month of the school year, the Lowndes County Juvenile Court awards one student with the Character in Action (CIA) award. Fort Deposit Elementary School fifth grader Denyejah Jones received the May award for her bubby character and the joy she shares with others.

“We highly recommend Denyejah Jones as a nominee for Character in Action without reservation for her bubby character,” said Fort Deposit Elementary Principal LaTonya Love in the nomination letter. “Denyejah exemplifies true character traits of love. She is a joy to be around and lights up any room.”

District Judge Adrian Johnson said the court began the awards program as a way to recognize kids who are displaying good character in their schools and communities. Each month administrators nominate one or two students from each school. The chosen recipient receives a certificate, a program t-shirt, and a Walmart gift card worth $50.

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“We have a wonderful relationship with our school system, with our superintendent, principals, and counselors,” Johnson said. “I credit not only our school system but our juvenile probation officer, Keisha Lee. She fosters those relationships and because of that, we have buy-in from the schools.”

Love described Jones as a “light in dark places.”

“Her smile is radiant,” Love wrote. “One character trait that sticks out is joy. She brings great joy to a room. She is very eager to learn.”

Love quoted Jones’s teacher, who said, “She does daily check-ins about what she has learned, gets clarity on what she doesn’t understand, and completes homework for further practice. She always has something educational in her hands, whether it’s a book, a page full of math problems, or a journal to take notes. She is making great gains toward reaching her academic goals for this school term. Everyday truly is an opportunity for her to shine.”

Nominations are open to students of all ages, Johnson said, and students are selected from around the county so every school has an opportunity to recognize a student.

‘We know there are a lot of older students that are doing wonderful things and we want to make sure that we recognize our high school students,” Johnson said, “But we also want to recognized the younger students too.”

The May award is the last for the school system’s 2022-2023 school year. Johnson said the program will re-launch in the fall. Organizers are floating plans for a kickoff event at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, he said.