What's Happening in Character Education?

What Inspires You To Be An Educator?

Posted by Cathy Berger Kaye on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 09:10 AM

Being an educator caught me by surprise. I had a different route in mind when young, even though my older sisters were both teachers and I admired their work. During college, while an apprentice at a summer theatre company in Western Massachusetts, I was assigned to (or “gifted” with) developing a day long theater experience for kids coming out from Boston. Under a canopy of trees with a lively bunch of tweens, suddenly I found myself in a role I had not expected, and absolutely loved.

Today my inspiration comes from a vision of young people engaged in a world that extends beyond classroom walls. Of course I admire what occurs inside schools and universities. However, not all environments operate equally.

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Topics: National Forum

Make the World Better at the 2016 National Forum

Posted by Heather Cazad on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 07:01 AM

A Message from Heather Cazad, Director of Operations:

During this National Forum in our capital city only a few weeks before a presidential election, we will discuss civic responsibility, creating good citizenship and building leadership in our communities. It’s up to us to make the world better, and we can do that by first developing better people. That’s why we’ve chosen the theme... Educate, Inspire, Empower: Building Productive and Caring Citizens.

With national leadership on our minds, let’s work on helping our students become engaged citizens. Not only are our youth the leaders of tomorrow, we can help encourage them to lead today.

Every fall for the past twenty-two years, educators, researchers, authors, and even students have come together in the interest of improving schools with character education to create a brighter future.

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Topics: National Forum

Linking Smart & Good: A Reflection on the 2015 Forum Theme

Posted by Maricarmen Esper on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 @ 12:10 PM

By Maricarmen Esper, Character Education Author and Speaker

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Topics: Forum Speakers, National Forum, Academics,

‘Big Six’ Leader in Civil Rights Movement to Keynote at National Forum on Character

Posted by Calvary Diggs on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 @ 07:08 AM

by Calvary Diggs

It’s a little over fifty years ago, and the United States exists in less vibrant tones and colors. No diversity. No rainbows. The atmosphere operates only on an absolute of black and white.

For one child, he first began to understand the diff

erence– one that he’d later describe as ‘inequality’ and ‘injustice’ – when he was denied access to a local library. He’s black. The library was for whites only.

Years later, the child – not so young and naïve anymore – finds a comic about a man named, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The child sees the similarities. Empathizes. Wants to help make the world a better place.

Many years later, he’s in college and a young man.

He decides to take part in the freedom rides. At twenty-three, he marches and speaks alongside Dr. King – his hero. The young man learns to understand generations of pain and hate while enduring a growing list of arrests and hate crimes. He has to exercise grit and determination at Selma as he’s violently attacked by police. And he shows courage and integrity to this day as a congressman working with the rights of others in mind.

This man is Congressman John Lewis, and we are honored to have him deliver a keynote address at the National Forum on Character Education.

As education professionals involved in character education, we frequently ask, “What does good character like in action?” To answer this question, we actively seek real-life role models and genuine examples. They provide us with the inspiration, ideas, and stamina necessary to lead our youth to becoming productive citizens with strong ethical principles. No one embodies these qualities better than John Lewis.

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Topics: Forum Speakers, National Forum

8 Reasons to Get Excited for the 2015 Forum on Character Education

Posted by Character.org Staff on Tue, Jun 9, 2015 @ 14:06 PM

Are you getting excited for the 2015 National Forum on Character Education? We certainly are! We’re looking forward to many new offerings including a Sports Track, Youth Track, Schools of Character Showcase and all that our new location, Atlanta, Georgia, has to offer.

Read on to hear about what our staff is looking forward to most, and share what you are excited about on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #character2015.

Becky: I'm excited for the 2015 Forum on Character Education for many reasons but one is the reception we're planning at the Georgia Aquarium. I love all the Forum content--keynotes, breakout sessions and more--that we provide at the conference, but I never have enough time to talk to people. By following our welcome reception with a "party" at the Georgia Aquarium, not only will we be able to see one of the top attractions in the state without the usual crowds, but we will have an extended chance to network with other educators and see friends we often see only once a year. What could be better--fish, friends, food, and fun! See you there.

 

Iris: I'm excited for the 2015 Forum on Character Education because this will be my 13th Forum!  I love seeing how eager attendees are to get back to their school and put into use the knowledge and best practices they learned from attending the Forum.

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Topics: National Forum

A Virtues-Based Community: More than just a Dream

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Mon, Oct 7, 2013 @ 07:10 AM

By Dr. Raquel Castrodad
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward

The quote from what is a brilliant ad slogan, “Just Do it!,” should be the guiding light and starting point of this voyage towards achieving a virtues-based community. It was for us. We are just a rural school in the middle of a little island, but we had big dreams (and now have even bigger dreams). Stephen Butler Leacock may have said it best when he said, “It may be that those who do most, dream most.”

The attainment of a virtues-based community requires a vision, a plan, the will, and the courage to act. The vision begins. As the possibilities are explored, the vision expands. The journey has begun. It truly is as simple as that! “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” said James Allen.

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Topics: character, character education, school climate, character education in curriculum, National School of Character, National Forum, CEPForum13, community of character, virtues

The OCHO Project: Read for a Need--Teaching Children to Help Others

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Sun, Sep 29, 2013 @ 19:09 PM

By Marilyn Perlyn

The OCHO Project: Read for a Need(Opportunities for Children to Help Others) exposes children to the joys of reading while teaching them that they can help others less fortunate than themselves. It is an elementary school program in which students embark on a 6-8 week literacy journey that is infused with eighteen character traits and service learning.

Children are asked several months later if they would like to share a book with another child in a different part of the world. Each year, donated books are brought to a different country by Marilyn Perlyn, founder of the OCHO Project. Books have already been donated to kids in need in Tanzania, India, Vietnam, Laos, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, and Namibia. In 2014 we will visit China!

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Topics: key lessons, character education, Service learning, character education in curriculum, National Forum, what works in education, international education, CEPForum13, Perlyn Maryilyn

Character Is Our Super Power

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Sun, Sep 22, 2013 @ 14:09 PM

 by Barbara Gruener

Is anyone out there as excited about the upcoming CEP National Forum as I am? One of my very favorite things about October is the chance to connect with other character educators from around the US and beyond its borders. It’s been an annual booster shot for me since I first attended when the Conference was held in Houston back in 2004.

Our school, Westwood Elementary, was selected the inaugural Texas State School of Character in 2007 and then honored with the National School of Character distinction in 2009. What an invigorating time that was for our school family. But we didn’t stay atop that mountain for long. Shortly after our celebration, budget cuts meant we’d be merging with the 4th and 5th grade campus next door; we are now navigating a new normal as a preK-5 school family.

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Topics: character, character education, character education in curriculum, National School of Character, National Forum, social-emotional learning, empathy

Powerful Analogies From Nature that Build Character

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 @ 14:09 PM

by Barbara A. Lewis

Do you want to know something so strong that it survived the atomic explosion on Hiroshima? Might you guess a 400-pound gorilla that can hoist up 10 times its body weight?

Or how about Iron Man or the Hulk (not fair—they’re not real)?  Or what about the annoying cockroach?  Well, you would be right about the cockroach (which gives you a clue as to why they’re so hard to expel from your house). 

But you might not have considered bamboo. Surprise! Bamboo has more tensile strength than steel.  Knowing this, you might choose to build your next home with bamboo, because it could withstand 9.0 magnitude earthquake and last for hundreds of years. (You might want a new house before then though.)

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Topics: key lessons, character, character education, character education in curriculum, National Forum, CEPForum13, Character Ed Infused in Curriculum, empathy

Extra Early Bird Promotion Discount Ends Soon!

Posted by Jesse Marble on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 09:07 AM

 

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Topics: Forum Speakers, school climate, promising practices, school safety, National School of Character, National Forum, international summit