Nowadays, we hear a lot in media about environmentalism and the effect humans have on the planet. We know more now. Thankfully, for the most part, we know better. Even still, it can be difficult to get started without being overwhelmed (I need to recycle this. Wait, should this be composted? What can I plant to best help the local wildlife? I live in an apartment and don’t know what to do…). I encourage everyone to try to do better by starting small. Because even the smallest effort can cause positive change.Read More
What's Happening in Character?
In elementary school, Nadia and Rosie walked home together every day. They would play with Nadia’s dog and swing on Nadia’s hammock. In sixth grade, that all changed. Rosie felt suffocated by Nadia and dodged her after school. She’d hide in the bathroom until her new friends said the coast was clear. Nadia was hurt and confused, and her mother, Dana, was conflicted. “They’ve been best friends forever,” she told me. “But Rosie is in a faster crowd and constantly gets in trouble. I want Nadia to move on, but instead she’s become obsessed with who’s popular. I’m not sure what, if anything, I should say to Rosie’s mom.”Read More
Character is developed through our participation in sports and competition. I had the great fortune of playing baseball 20 years of my life—including most of college. I have found that engaging in sports can teach us a lot about life. There will be times when we have wins and losses. There will be times when we have failures and triumphs. However, the true test of character remains in how we respond to these circumstances.Read More
Social Studies is an inherently personal topic.
It is that time of the school day that has been carved out to specifically look at our history, our accomplishments, failures, systems we have created in order to survive and most importantly, relationships we have developed. It is more than the mere regurgitation of names and dates. It is a wonderful opportunity to look with a critical eye and develop our own ideas while refining our values through connections, self-reflection and conversations with peers. It offers a chance to learn from the past so we can do better for the future.
This is a realization that our world desperately needs.Read More
Workplace character is a necessary part of character development. It is imperative for staff to adhere to moral guides that allows them to freely strive for the highest form of character.
The 11 Principles sets a wonderful example for cultivating good character in all environments. These principles are valuable in schools, workplaces, homes, and sport teams. They set a blueprint for people to create spaces where positive character is fertilized daily.Read More
Stories are the original edutainment out of which all cultures flow. Before we had TVs, social media, books and formal plays we had stories. Families and communities would gather and listen to stories from elders. They would sing them, set them to music and dance, draw them, and most importantly enact them so that the essential values would be communicated and preserved.Read More
Women have made incredible impact in the world.
Everywhere you go, there are women. Everywhere women are, we see character nutured. When it comes to exuding and embodying character, women from all walks of life like Rosa Parks (one of the figureheads of the Civil Rights Movement), and Malala Yousafzai (a proponent for the education of girls in Pakistan) have encouraged, challenged inspired many women to work in cultivating good character within themselves.Read More
Sports have been a major part of my life since I was four years old. Growing up I played all kinds sports. Golf, football, and tennis are just some of the few. These activities gave me mental and physical strength to tackle hardships that came my way. I learned that living the life of an athlete can shape and challenge one’s character in significant ways.Read More
It’s no secret perseverance is key to achieving your goals. Even the most successful individuals face their share of defeat – it is part of the journey in reaching goals. One of the most valuable lessons youth can learn in their pursuit of success is to learn how to react to failure and to persevere.Read More
“Every morning everybody makes a decision: they can let poverty, violence, tough neighborhoods influence how they come in to school, or they can say I’m in an environment that cares for me, respects me and is going to help me.” Principal Anabel Soler, North Park Academy
In January, 2017, CITRS (Character, Integrity, Trust, Relationships, Success) in partnership with Character Counts! (CC!) provided a pilot opportunity to the Buffalo Public School System to implement a ground-breaking three-year comprehensive character development initiative which has made huge strides in weaving character throughout the culture of the 21 schools selected.Read More