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The City of Rock Hill received a Municipal Achievement Award for its iRock initiative. Officials accepted the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's 74th Annual Meeting on July 12. The town won in the public service category. Twenty six cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.
Last year, the City of Rock Hill and the Rock Hill School District joined forces in a progressive partnership that has touched nearly every member of the community in some way. The iRock initiative has created a partnership between the city and the school system that uses students" natural talents, gives city officials new perspectives and uses resources more efficiently.
iRock reaches past the boundaries of a single city department, school classroom or specific work assignment. The program leverages the talents of 800+ city employees, 17,400 students and 1450 teachers/administrators to create viable solutions to community challenges. Each project tackled ties directly from the city's strategic plan.
The Initiative gives students real-world examples to demonstrate learning. Fifth graders in Rock Hill created a civil rights walking tour with city staff. Math and science students from the high school developed community wellness campaigns designed by examining local eating and exercise habits. Residents have students to thank for the new bike racks around town, and students" illustrations have been integral to the development of Rock Hill's new Old Town East Park.
City employees at all staff levels and across all departments gain leadership and mentoring experience, encouraging cross-generational dialogue about core community values.
"The initiative is leaving a legacy of responsible, engaged individuals who have left an indelible mark on priority areas including infrastructure, transportation, healthy living, historic preservation, recreation and improving quality of life," said Miriam Hair, executive director of the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information and a video about the project are available on the Association's website