BYRON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Byron Elementary students are learning discipline, self-control and how to be leaders.
“I was the one being helped sometimes and now I know how it feels to help people,” says fifth grade Luke Wood.
Luke is one of many students who are becoming role models.
Fifth grader Ethan Johnson says, “I’m usually the one that’s getting help so it’s nice to actually feel good to help somebody.”
Thanks to Coach Almond, third, fourth and fifth graders are staying out of trouble and making improvements in their school work.
Sheldon Almond sis the JROTC Instructor. He says, “I was just sitting at my desk thinking what can I do with kids that are coming to ISS.”
To answer to that question, he started a junior ROTC program.
Almond explains, “Kids don’t want to get in any trouble anymore because they love wearing the uniform. They love doing the special maneuvers. I have a color guard that consists of four people.”
“He really helped me and I stopped acting up in class and my behavior improved,” fifth grader Elliott Colson adds.
Students wear uniforms every Thursday with pride.
Fifth grader Milah Helms says, “When you put the uniform on, you feel like you have the ability to do anything and nothing is impossible.”
Students also earn rank. Kimaya Lumpkin is a lieutenant. She sees herself as a role model for others. She says the program is helping build her character inside and outside of the classroom.
“After JROTC, we go to class and I do work, stay disciplined and work hard and try to get grades all the time,” Lumpkin continues.
Byron Elementary School is the only elementary school in the state to have a junior ROTC program.