What's Happening in Character?
Clifton-Clyde High School – Clyde, KS
Program: Mock Interviews
At Clifton-Clyde High School in Clyde, Kansas, students participate in mock interviews to prepare them for life after high school and/or college. This Promising Practice implements two principles from CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education: using a comprehensive approach, and offering a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum.
Each student develops a résumé, cover letter, and application form that addresses their chosen field of study (e.g., medicine, education, etc.). Three weeks before the interview, each student’s information is mailed to the “interviewer” for a personal critique. The students participate in four 15-minute interviews on the day of the mock interviews. One week after the mock interview session, each student will mail the interviewers a follow-up thank you letter, thus preparing them for the “real thing” once they enter the work force.
Brennan Woods Elementary School – High Ridge, MO
Program: Grandparents’ Luau
The teachers at Brennan Woods Elementary School in High Ridge, Missouri, developed a Promising Practice event that honors grandparents, called the Grandparents’ Luau. The grandparents of second graders at Brennen Woods are invited to a luau every September. The second-grade teachers plan activities for the children to take part in with their grandparents. The grandparents also have the opportunity to see items their grandchildren have created.
Bonneville Elementary School – Salt Lake City, UT
Program: Go Green
Bonneville Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, created a Promising Practice called the “Go Green” Team. Third-graders discovered how to “Go Green” through activities such as the Morning Mile, the “Go Green” Operas, the Recycled Gifts Boutique, and the Recycling Science Fair project.
The Morning Mile improved academic scores, health, and taught children the benefits of walking over driving: less driving decreases air pollution and global warming. The students explored the meaning of reduce, reuse, recycle, as well as how to promote renewable energy sources by producing an original “Go Green” opera to share with the community.
Bayless Intermediate – St. Louis, MO
Program: Random Acts of Kindness
Once a month, student leaders at Bayless Intermediate in St. Louis, Missouri, meet to plan character-related activities. This particular Promising Practice promoted random acts of kindness. The student leaders planned an assembly that included a video news story, skits, and games that showed examples of random acts of kindness. This activity incorporated two principles from CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education: promoting core values and creating a caring community.
Alton Middle School – Alton, IL
Program: Bully Prevention Lunch
Alton Middle School in Alton, Illinois, wants their students to be aware of and know how to deal with bullying. One way they promote awareness is through a Promising Practices program called the Monthly Student-Led Bully Prevention Lunch. Each month, sixth-grade students are given the opportunity to participate in interactive discussions or activities that teach ways to prevent bullying, while at the same time promoting a safe and welcoming school environment.
Alcoa Elementary School – Alcoa, TN
In an effort to promote character education at their school, Alcoa Elementary School in Alcoa, Tennessee, has implemented a Promising Practices program called F.R.O.G.S. (Fathers Representing Our Great Students). Dads, grandfathers, uncles, step-dads, big brothers, etc., are encouraged to volunteer at their child’s school at least once a year.
- Ellisville Elementary School in Ellisville, MO: using character traits in ballroom dancing (CEP VP gave the delegate from Ellisville a quick preview of his ballroom skills)
- Comsewogue High school in Port Jefferson Station, NY: SUSS (Students United for Safe Schools) students focus interventions on bullying to change the social norm. The Comseqogue delegation included seven current students!
- Babler Elementary School in Glencoe, MO : Their "A Leader in Me" program helps students identify one of their strengths that they can encourage in others.
- Cranford High school in Cranford, NJ: Blankets of Love - students band together to make fun, colorful blankets for kids with cancer.
- Green Pines Elementary School in Greenwood, MO: Gators Earn, Learn, and Give Back - Students raised money via a book drive and garage sale to make money for the local food bank.
- Jefferson Elementary Elementary in Greensboro, NC. Delivers character traits via a recurring puppet show program during their daily show.
We love ideas -- new, creative, and powerful ways to effectively integrate character education into the lives of students who need it. This afternoon, we were treated to a peak into the world of this year's amazing crop of Promising Practices recipients! Check out an amazing and passionate group of students from Comsewogue High School in New York involved in a program called Students United for Safe Schools:
When Sara leaves her house each day, she know she has loving teachers waiting. Every day that 8-year-old Sara goes to school, educators at Plattin Primary in Festus, Missouri make sure she encounters a culture of character. Plattin students start each day off with a curbside greeting from their principle and PE teacher. Once inside the building, students continue to be welcomed by loving staff as well their teachers who meet each student at the entrance to their classrooms.
We just wrapped up an outstanding first day at the 2012 the National Forum on Character Education - #cep2012. The day was filled with lots of excitement and energy.
"Every person wants their kids to be good human beings. Depending on the culture, the details get fuzzy. And how those details fits into the national education system is a big issue as well."
Today, a group of Forum attendees spent the morning at Mt. Vernon, George Washington's historic Virginia home. On the bus ride down, I was able to meet Carrie and Barb-- two teachers from Clifton-Clyde High School in Kansas who teach character education to their entire student body. It was so cool here about what their school is doing and I wanted to pass along a few tidbits.