Special to the
Opelika Observer

The Family Court of Lee County held an awards ceremony for members of its Characters in Action program.
This program recognizes children from Lee County who, by their own actions, make a positive contribution that is above and beyond normal expectations to their home, school, or community.
Receiving awards from Judge Mike Fellows were: McKinley St. John, Tala Hamasha, Mia Edstrom and Dayvon Logan-Bate.
McKinley is the son of Travis St. John and Deortha Coleman and is a second-grade student at Cary Woods Elementary School. He was nominated for the award by his instructional coach Sherri Shriver. Shriver said McKinley is constantly looking out for people other than himself and has continually showed a selfless and positive attitude in all he does. He has taken initiative to go above and beyond by helping his teachers to clean up on a regular basis. He demonstrated his extraordinary compassion when his teacher was out sick, asking if they could throw her a feel better soon party. McKinley exemplifies what any teacher would want in a student.
Tala is the daughter of Haneen Ali and Sa’d Hamasha and is a second-grade student at Creekside Elementary School. She was nominated for the award by Kamia Slaughter. Slaughter reported that Tala has distinguished herself as a caring, thoughtful, and willing leader in her classroom. When Tala entered Slaughter’s classroom, she asked what she could do to contribute that all of her friends and classmates could enjoy. With the support of her parents, Tala organized a fundraiser in her neighborhood where she sold native food and drinks from her family’s home in Jordan. With her earning, she donated colorful dry erase boards, markers, and erasers that her classmates are able to regularly use during reading and math instruction.
Tala’s generosity and selfless actions make her an excellent student, friend, and daughter.
Dayvon is the son of Darrnell Logan and Bridgette Bates and is a second-grade student at Dean Road Elementary School. He was nominated for the award by Shanika Reid.
Reid said that while Dayvon has always been an extraordinary student his actions when he found another student choking the hallway were amazing. He quickly sprang into action and helped the student walk to the front office to get help from an adult. He actions were heroic, and he was able to remain calm under the pressure of the situation. Dayvon consistently shows what great character traits are developing in himself and continues to be a positive role model for his classmates.
Mia is the daughter of Reid and Stephanie Edstrom and is a 4th grade student at Yarbrough Elementary School. She was nominated for the award by Kristi Ramey.
Ramey reported that Mia has a huge heart for others that cannot be contained. During a school donation drive for Hurricane Michael victims Mia not only brought in donations of her own, but also went home, made fliers, and starting for asking for donations in her neighborhood.
She was able to collect an enormous amount in donations and demonstrated to her community and classmates the great things that can be done when people come together.
Mia continues to exemplify leadership qualities, compassion, and a servant’s heart that is remarkable.