What's Happening in Character?

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

Taking Your School from Good to Great

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 @ 09:09 AM

Character education is often misunderstood. It is more than a word of the month or an assembly to honor students with good character. It exceeds catching students being good and helping those who are less fortunate. Character education is not a program, but a philosophy about how we ought to treat one another and why. 

The fundamental lessons in relationship building and character development need to begin with the staff, not the students. Once relationships among the staff are nourished, trust evolves and true understanding and implementation of character education can begin. 

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Topics: character, character education, National School of Character, teachers, what works in education, CEPForum13, community of character

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

Character Education Data and the New Character Map

Posted by Sora Wondra on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 @ 12:07 PM

By Sora Wondra, Advancement Officer

CEP often receives inquiries from researchers asking about state-level character education legislation or from teachers and parents who are interested in finding a local National School of Character. In order to share this valuable information with a larger audience, Character.org has developed a new at-a-glance tool—the Character Map.

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Topics: Character Education News, character education, NSOC, National School of Character, patriotism

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

A New Kind of No Child Left Behind

Posted by Lara Maupin on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 @ 09:12 AM

As we all continue to struggle with the impact of the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, we find ourselves as a nation at a crossroads about what we can do to better protect our children, especially at school. We are suddenly more willing than we have been in recent times to tackle complex and controversial issues such as gun control, mental health services, and violence in video games and the media. But those of us who are parents and teachers and school leaders can’t wait for these issues to be addressed through the political process – although I, for one, commend any American with the passion and expertise required to work on these issues for doing so. At CEP our mission is to create engaged and ethical citizens so we certainly applaud and support civic engagement and civil public discourse. However, those we serve need support and concrete strategies NOW, TODAY. Thankfully, our National Schools of Character can serve as models for what a safe school can be and our 11 Principles can serve as a roadmap for any school that would like to get there.

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Topics: key lessons, school safety, National School of Character, no child left behind

National School of Character Helps Neighboring School after Sandy

Posted by Lara Maupin on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 @ 09:11 AM

Richard Stockton Elementary (2012 National School of Character) students were busy in the week before Thanksgiving as they worked on their service efforts to help those impacted by Superstorm Sandy. On Tuesday, students, staff, and parents traveled with the donations they had collected to Brigantine, New Jersey, home of 2011 NSOC Brigantine Elementary.

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Topics: Service learning, National School of Character, resiliency

National Schools of Character Lead Post-Sandy Service Learning

Posted by Lara Maupin on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 @ 09:11 AM

Eloisa DeJesus-Woodruff, Principal of 2012 National School of Character (NSOC) Richard Stockton Elementary in Cherry Hill, New Jersey was so moved by the devastation being faced by her fellow citizens in New Jersey and New York in the wake of Sandy that she returned from the National Forum ready to act. She had a vision of mobilizing the National Schools of Character to help those in need – other NSOC communities that were impacted as well as anyone else who needed help through the Red Cross. She hoped her students could help others and would have the opportunity to share stories with other students in other communities around the country. Knowing the power of service learning in her own community, she envisioned how much impact the NSOCs could have by working together.

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Topics: CEPLeaders, Service learning, leadership, National School of Character, resiliency

Call for Stories: How Are You Helping Superstorm Sandy's Victims?

Posted by Katie Hood on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 @ 16:11 PM

Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the East Coast at the end of October. Millions lost homes, pets, electricity, and some have lost hope. However, many of our National Schools of Character have mobilized to help alleviate the issues that many of these communities are facing. 

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Topics: character, Education News, leadership, National School of Character

Why do these National Schools of Character do character education?

Posted by Adam Williams on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 @ 18:11 PM

This afternoon the National Forum on Character Education was celebrated the 20 public schools, 3 private schools, 1 charter school, and 1 school district who became National Schools of Character this year. In a May press release, Lara Maupin stated that “These schools have built strong communities that bring people together around shared goals. Nobody feels alone or unwelcome in these schools. Adults are all on the same page about what’s important and, as a result, kids thrive.”

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Topics: character, character education, CEP2012, character education in curriculum, Education News, National School of Character