What's Happening in Character?

A Thriving Large-Scale Innovative and Successful Character Initiative

Posted by Karen Geller on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 @ 09:02 AM

“Every morning everybody makes a decision: they can let poverty, violence, tough neighborhoods influence how they come in to school, or they can say I’m in an environment that cares for me, respects me and is going to help me.” Principal Anabel Soler, North Park Academy

In January, 2017, CITRS (Character, Integrity, Trust, Relationships, Success) in partnership with Character Counts! (CC!) provided a pilot opportunity to the Buffalo Public School System to implement a ground-breaking three-year comprehensive character development initiative which has made huge strides in weaving character throughout the culture of the 21 schools selected.

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Reinforcing Values In Children 

Posted by Phyllis L. Fagell on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 @ 09:02 AM

“Good morning, Phyllis,” the man wrote. “I’m Tim, a stranger to you from Australia. I felt it was worth a chance to reach out to you. I woke up lost, started Googling and by chance found your article on connecting with boys.” He told me he was a 30-year-old single parent to an 11-year-old, and that he felt like he was failing as a father. I did the math and realized he was still a teen when he became a parent.  

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The Classroom as a Caring Community

Posted by Hal Urban on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 @ 12:02 PM

by Hal Urban

    I was a social studies teacher in a public high school for 36 years. I loved every minute of it! Well, at least almost every minute. In all honesty, my teaching career started out wonderfully, and got better each year.  I’m convinced that the key was good relationships. I was taught on my first day of graduate school in education that, “If you can reach ‘em, you can teach ‘em.” Starting with my student teaching, I put a lot energy into reaching my students, of making that all-important personal connection with them. 

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Topics: character education, teachers

Unintended Consequences of a Promising Practices

Posted by David Yeager on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 @ 11:02 AM

One hallmark of a great educator is the ability to live with the unintended consequences that commonly pop up with change. Changes in curriculum, instructional strategy, even bell schedules inevitably give rise to these unintended results – some benefits and others, drawbacks. Working with educators throughout the world who are contributing to our growing library of Promising Practices.

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Developing Character and Workforce Readiness in Students

Posted by Dr. Pamela Bruening on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 @ 09:01 AM

Besides talent, what determines the lasting success of someone in any career?  Ask 100 people that question, and most would likely attribute workplace success to character strengths such as perseverance, empathy, kindness, honesty, humility, etc. In fact, one could argue that the importance of character has increased in the 21st Century workplace. Elmer G. Letterman once said, “Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.” This is why it is necessary to promote core ethical values within students. Encouraging character traits helps students set good foundations so they are prepared for the workplace.   

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Parenting with the 11 Principles 

Posted by Sora Wondra on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 @ 09:01 AM


I have been with Character.org for more than 5 years now and have seen many awesome examples of Communities of Character built around the 11 Principles. While I’ve admired the courage and hard work of each of those journeys, I now find myself about to begin my own journey as I become a parent.

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The Healing Power of Sports

Posted by Dave Keller on Thu, Dec 28, 2017 @ 09:12 AM

In September, I wrote a blog for Character.org about the challenges --- and resiliency---  of my hometown Houston, Texas, in the wake of the devastating floods from Hurricane Harvey.  

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The Power of Trust and Curiosity in Small Groups

Posted by Parker Pillsbury on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 @ 09:12 AM

If you surveyed one hundred people on what they believe is the most important quality in a friendship, you'd likely get about a hundred different answers. Actually, if someone had asked me that just a few months ago, I'd probably waver back and forth between that many myself!

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There's no Accounting for Character Education

Posted by Marvin Berkowitz on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 @ 09:12 AM

There are two faces to the academic accountability phenomenon.  On the one hand there is the reductionist perversion of education that is often referred to as high stakes testing.  You know, the governmental requirements to evaluate schools based on some narrow and questionable metrics, usually statewide academic test scores, coupled with little of the carrot and lots of the stick.

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Build Community: Discover Your Character

Posted by Clifton Taulbert on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 @ 09:11 AM

We all watch others. Sometimes we see good actions we want to emulate, and other times we see actions that are driven by selfish behavior. This is life—and life is embedded with choices. Other than our homes, there is no place better than our schools to start understanding what those choices look like. This is why the focus on building community within our schools is critical because it is people-focused and relationship-driven. Building community is a dynamic process that creates reasons to focus beyond self while embracing respect for the presence of others. The choices we make during challenging seasons in life define our character.

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