We asked our 2012 National Schools of Character why they do character education. Some replied:
Brentwood Middle School – We don’t DO character education. It is inside us. It is WHO we are. It is WHAT we are. It’s our very essence and core from which we build and do everything else. Why DON’T you do character education? How can you afford not to? As Theodore Roosevelt once said, "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” - Julie Sperry, principal
Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy – We tell our students that your character is who you are when no one is looking. Everyone can choose to do what is right because it is the right thing to do; not because someone told them to do this or that. We do character education to instill within our students the moral fiber to serve them through a lifetime. – Patricia Zissios, Ph.D., principal
Northview High School – We DO Character Education because it helps to create a culture and climate within a school that forms the foundation of everything else. Character education is the fabric of our school - it is good for students, staff and families. It provides all of us with life long skills which will benefit each and every one of us. Character education allows us to think beyond ourselves, to deepen our critical thinking skills, to grow, learn and develop without fear. – Stephanie Valleroy
Berkeley Elementary School – Character education is an essential part of life. How can you find peace, happiness, and empathy toward others without character education? The goal of every person in all societies and cultures should be built on character education. As technology grows and the world becomes accessible we must resolve to strengthen our respect, responsibility, generosity, integrity and cooperation with all people. I have seen the positive impact in my own school where we serve all ethnicities and socioeconomic levels within our community. The world is a mirror of a diverse community simply on a larger scale. If we all strive toward building character education in our small community then we can reach a worldwide goal of character education for all. I know it makes a difference for the children and families in Moncks Corner, South Carolina and therefore, it can make a difference in any place at any time. Character education simply makes the world a better place and that is why I live it every day. - Tracy H. Gaskins, principal
Wilson Southern Middle School - Character education is critical in the development of the whole child. If we don't take on this responsibility then our school, neighborhoods, and communities will suffer. The key to our nation's success depends on the character of all of us. - Dr. Stephen V. Burnham
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Elementary/Middle School - We have ebeen engaged in character education since 1986. Our mission is to nurture the whole child spiritually, academically, emotionally, and socially. We put into practice on a daily basis our Character Education Program. This has established a learning environment where students feel safe, secure, and an integral part of the community. The staff goes beyond academics to serve as role models to students as they begin their journey of becoming life-long learners with a strong, value-centered foundation from which to grow and are diligent to incorporate teaching, learning, and virtues across the curriculum.
By integrating virtues, service, and role models into our comprehensive curriculum, by fostering a healthy partnership between family and school, through deliberate and continual collaboration of staff and faculty, and by firmly establishing a goal of systematic improvement and implementation of our programs, we are confident that we will achieve our school-wide learning expectations of graduating a mature, confident individual who can accept his/her strengths & weaknesses, work cooperatively and independently, and accept responsibility for his/her actions. We seek to produce a graduate who is a faith-filled Christian, who is a life-long learner with a global vision, who is a socially responsible citizen who treats others with respect and dignity, who is an active and motivated citizen, and who is respectful of God’s gift of body and mind. -Sonia West
At Blessed we teach Character Education because we aim to teach the whole child. To be successful in life you have to have strong morals, values and understand the value of helping out others. Through our Character Education Program our students receive an education that addresses and reinforces sound character traits. - Matthew DeVoll, principal
Plattin Primary School -The bottom line is our society needs it. Character education helps to build morally responsible adults. Our kids spend an enormous amount of their childhood lives in our classrooms. It only makes sense that character education needs to be embedded with the school curriculum. Children learn so much by just observing the adults around them. It is essential that we ensure that, while they are in our hands, they are seeing exemplary models of character. Not only do we have an obligation to teach good character, but we must utilize every minute to demonstrate how to live as a person of character. We owe it to our students, our future. – Tina Basler, principal
Colegio Radians, Inc. - Since the founding of the school, the quest for character development and curriculum integration has been a key fundamental element that has guided the vision of Colegio Radians: to build integral citizens. Human beings are composed of spirit and physical body. It was with the understanding that these two aspects of human development should not be independent of each other that the school pursued a path different to many other educational institutions. As part of our mission and philosophy we have sought to achieve a balance between the academic and human development of our students. As time has gone on we have seen how society has lost universal values. Character Education is a clear guide to fill the spiritual and emotional aspect of the integral development of a student. When we implemented our character education program, we clarified to our students the responsibility, leadership, respect and other characteristics that are important for the development of students committed to their society. We began our Virtues-Based Community learning process and character building because, at that time, we understood that the only way to rescue our society was to build leaders that could be an example for others. Character education creates a positive school environment, where students, teachers, parents, and school staff speak the same language. Through Character Education parents and teachers can develop emotionally-balanced, socially compassionate, caring individuals with a solid values system. Success in life does not always rely on academics. Character education and curriculum integration is fundamental in the quest for excellence in education.
Character education gives students the necessary tools that they will be using more frequently than those that they learn from academic subjects. It also helps students to awake the gift within them, the virtues and values that people intrinsically have. Character education is not an “add on” it’s a “hands on!” – Maria Cristina Alvarez
Shades Cahaba Elementary School - As a teacher, I know that academics are important, but teaching students to be good citizens is equally, if not more, important. Giving students the desire to make the world a better place ensures that our future is bright! – Rebecca Smith