What's Happening in Character?

Finding Our Best in the Worst of Circumstances

Posted by Dave Keller on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 09:09 AM

I’m not an especially eloquent or elegant writer.  Others would undoubtedly do a far better job at communicating these thoughts. Especially as I try to convey a topic that is so personally emotional and still a little raw.

Houston is my hometown.

If you didn’t grow up there, it is difficult to imagine the sheer scale of this month’s catastrophic flooding due to Hurricane Harvey. It wasn’t just parts of Houston that were impacted. Every part of Houston was impacted. Every major highway in and out of town was flooded. In a county larger than some U.S. states, every suburb received nearly 30 inches of rain --- some areas got more than 50.

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Actively Moving the Needle on Character Education

Posted by Sara Gibb on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 @ 09:09 AM

Ever imagine what the ideal character education experience would look like? Would it take place in a fully immersive, active skill building, natural consequence-rich and inclusive learning environment?  Would it be full of genuine challenge, struggle and accomplishment to help kids develop a robust sense of self-worth?

In fact, it can be all of these things. Outward Bound has been facilitating these physically immersive learning experiences for over 70 years, worldwide. Additionally it offers expeditionary style, wilderness-based learning courses. We at Outward Bound Baltimore Chesapeake Bay teach character one student at a time through our Appalachian Trail backpacking, Potomac River canoeing, and Chesapeake Bay kayaking expeditions. We partner with Chesapeake region schools to provide a unique learning environment where students are in charge of their struggles, their accomplishments, their learning and their growth.

Character building happens one decision at a time. It doesn’t happen TO people; it is ACTIVELY self-initiated.

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What Works In Teaching The "New" Immigrants? Ask Six National Schools of Character!

Posted by Eileen Dachnowicz on Thu, Sep 7, 2017 @ 09:09 AM

Immigration is a hot national issue that commands many headlines, but seldom is there a spotlight on meeting the challenges of teaching the children of these “new immigrants.” Some enterprising National Schools of Character from New Jersey and New York took steps this summer to open up this conversation.  

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Join Millions Globally in Celebrating Character Day

Posted by Character Day on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

As the world seems more and more divided, it has never been more important to take a look at what connects us. Join us for the fourth annual Character Day on September 13, 2017! Last year there were over 93,000 Character Day events in 124 countries and all 50 states.

Character Day is a free day and global initiative where school districts, individual classrooms, companies, organizations, and families -- groups of all sizes -- screen films on the science of character development from different perspectives, dive into free printed discussion materials catered to different ages, and join an online global Q&A conversation featuring prominent leaders discussing the importance of developing character strengths (resilience, grit, empathy, courage, kindness)--all rooted in evidence-based research. Character Day is one day. The resources are available year-round. Please watch the 1 minute trailer and sign up today(takes 2 mins)!

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What’s the Real Problem with Fake News? We Are Wired to Believe It

Posted by Jason Ohler on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

The issue of fake news speaks to the core of any character education agenda because it threatens our ability to be informed, civil contributors to social discourse. Unfortunately, fake news is not as straightforward an issue as we would like it to be. An example will help us understand the challenge we face in this area.

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How to Raise a Good Human in a Digital World

Posted by Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

As parents, we have many hopes for our kids. We want them to grow up to live happy, successful lives. We hope they'll find love, maybe have kids of their own, and pursue their dreams. But at the bottom of all these wishes is the hope that our kid turns into a decent human being -- someone who is kind, respectful, and honest.

How do you bolster these strengths as well as teach key skills such as teamwork, communication, and perseverance? For the most part, kids will learn these things by following your example and through experience gained at school and in their communities. But media is another entry point. Since movies, TV shows, books, video games, and social media are such a huge part of kids' lives, it makes sense that kids can learn important lessons about character through media.

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Raising Kids with Character

Posted by Colton Qualls on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

 I interned with Character.org the summer after earning my bachelor’s degree. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be, “when I grew up.” To be honest, I still don’t (If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below). 

Before coming to intern with this organization, I told my advisor that I was looking into nonprofits, advocacy and education. This process lead me to character.org. When I started working there, I had my reservations. I remember thinking something along the lines of, “Character Education? What kind of feel-good, hippy malarkey is this? All we need in schools is reading, writing, and arithmetic.” However, coming right out of college, I realized that any job experience is a job experience any way you slice it, and I was happy not  running a weed eater all summer for the first time since I was sixteen.

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Workplace Character: A tangible goal

Posted by Oksanna Wildrick on Thu, Aug 3, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

Throughout my life so far I have often thought about my dream job. When I was in elementary school my dream job was being an art teacher, and my classroom would be covered in projects, colors and designs. I dreamed up how the classroom would be set up, what everyone would call me and how happy I would be. When I got into middle school my dream job was to be a history teacher. I thought of certain areas of history I would focus on and class trips that we could take. In high school my dream job was to be a photographer. I would travel all over the world taking photos and selling them to places like National Geographic. When I got into college my dream job was a place where I would have my own office, at a company I loved, that would give me travel opportunities.

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Tips to Help Your Kids with Honesty

Posted by Michele Borba on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 @ 09:07 AM

                                                                    Let’s be honest: nearly all kids—from tots to teens—stretch the truth and for all sorts of reasons: avoid punishment, make themselves look or feel better, get out of a task, keep their friend out of trouble, and start lying as young as two or three. Occasional lying is an almost expected part of child development, but whether dishonesty becomes a habit depends largely on how we respond to that lie. Statistics show we may not be doing such a good job. 

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Topics: family

Character Development Through Sport

Posted by Sarah Pickens on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 @ 09:07 AM


Soccer has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. From playing on recreational youth teams, to college, and now to my job today, soccer has been there.

While learning the fundamentals of the game was the objective, I also learned there was much more to soccer than the physical skill set. Soccer taught me sportsmanship and how to work on a team. It taught me how to handle unexpected challenges and use critical thinking to evaluate the situation. It even taught me to reach for water when I might have grabbed a soda.

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Topics: sports, Youth Sports