Columbia County students receive award for citizenship

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:38 PM EDT
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GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - In Columbia County, local fifth- and eighth-graders are being honored for more than their grades.

It’s called the Johns Award, and it recognizes kids for citizenship.

It’s given to a fifth- and eighth-grade girl and boy at each elementary and middle school in Columbia County. The recipients are recognized for displaying excellent citizenship and going above and beyond for others in the school.

The award is named after Otis and Johnny Johns, who were pioneers of education in Columbia County and started the first school in Grovetown.

The Rotary clubs sponsor the award.

Tim Turner, one of the members of the Columbia County West Rotary Club, said the award encourages students to continue to strive.

“It really builds them up for the future and shows them what is possible and that there’s opportunity everywhere,” said Turner.

We spoke to one of the winners at Baker Place Elementary School and her mom to find out how it feels to be honored with this award.

Ainsley Minton, the girl winner for Baker Place, said: “Whenever they called my name, I just started getting shaky and started getting goosebumps and I’m so glad that they have nominated me for the Johns Award.”

The award recipients are chosen by teachers.

Taryn Minton, Ainsley’s mom, said: “I was just amazed, I am so proud of this little girl, and it is such an honor.”

Honorees’ names are put on a plaque that will hang on the walls of the office for years to come.