Relevance, Relationships and Service Learning

Relevance A young man, formerly incarcerated, stood on our auditorium’s dimly lit stage, and asked our scholars the following question: “Raise your hand if you know someone who is currently or was recently in prison.” With each moment of silence that followed, dozens of scholars quietly raised their hands. Refoundry, a nonprofit that trains formerly … Continue reading “Relevance, Relationships and Service Learning”

Creating a Culture of Kindness

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” ~Aesop Kindness is a wonderful thing! A quick look in the dictionary reveals that to be kind means to be: thoughtful, friendly, considerate, warm, helpful and caring towards others. Who among us wouldn’t wish for a bit more of that? Join the Kindness Revolution Most educators … Continue reading “Creating a Culture of Kindness”

What Makes Professional Development Effective?

We asked four veteran Character.org trainers: What Makes Professional Development Effective?Here’s what they had to say: Make learning interactive. The most meaningful PD I have been a part of is when there is a lot of interaction/participation.  We all learn by doing or participating.  We silo or compartmentalize so many facets of education these days and … Continue reading “What Makes Professional Development Effective?”

Choosing Love

By Scarlett Lewis, Founder of Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement Following the murder of my 6 year old son in his first grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I asked myself the same two questions that everyone was asking: how could something like this happen, and what can I do to make sure this never … Continue reading “Choosing Love”

Creating Caring High Schools: Spotlight on Bayless High

By Emina Ahmetovic Grade 12, Meris Saric Grade 11 and Patrick McEvoy, Principal Bayless High School is making students smarter, better and stronger. The students and staff feel so safe and secure at school that they never lock their lockers. Yes, you read that correctly. 90% of the student body feels so safe that, in most cases, … Continue reading “Creating Caring High Schools: Spotlight on Bayless High”

Increasing Empathy & Disability Awareness through Project HEART

by Kim Dailey, Special School District Educator, Lindbergh Schools Thirty-one years of classroom teaching has taken me from my home in the Midwest, to the East Coast, to the West Coast, and home again. Today I’m very fortunate to live in one caring community and work in yet another.  I see evidence of this care … Continue reading “Increasing Empathy & Disability Awareness through Project HEART”

Caring for the Planet: Extending Beyond Walls!

By Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A. Perhaps at one time we considered school a bubble isolated from the world. Not anymore. Across the globe, school administrators, teachers, and students aim to connect what they are studying to the array of societal issues and concerns they see or read about every day. More and more as educators, … Continue reading “Caring for the Planet: Extending Beyond Walls!”

Student Perspectives: Creating Community through Activities & Sisterhood

  In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re featuring the voices of two young women, Jasmine and Ndasia, current students at Early/Middle College at Bennett, a 2015 National School of Character. Early/Middle College at Bennett is an all female high school located in Greensboro, North Carolina. by Ndasia Gerald, a student in the Class of … Continue reading “Student Perspectives: Creating Community through Activities & Sisterhood”

School-based Peer Mentoring Builds Relationships, Creates Caring Communities

by Margo Ross, Senior Director of Development, Center for Supportive Schools School-based, cross-age peer mentoring programs tap into the power of older students to create nurturing, supportive environments for younger students and can be a highly effective tool to address Principle 4, creating a caring community. “Students are not able to focus in the classroom if they … Continue reading “School-based Peer Mentoring Builds Relationships, Creates Caring Communities”

Four Ideas for Boosting Teacher Morale

by Becky Sipos Teachers matter. Decades of research and studies have found that, what to me, seems obvious–the quality of teachers has a bigger influence on student achievement than school facilities or curriculum. But what the studies have not clearly defined is what we mean by student achievement. Nor have they figured out what to … Continue reading “Four Ideas for Boosting Teacher Morale”

Cold Water Creates an Inclusive & Welcoming School Community

by Connie Dougherty, School Counselor, Cold Water Elementary School Cold Water School’s transformation to a School of Character can be summed up perfectly by this quote: “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.” The major changes that have happened in the front office of Cold Water School (Florissant, Missouri) within … Continue reading “Cold Water Creates an Inclusive & Welcoming School Community”

Emotional Intelligence Charters in the Lower School

By Laura Taylor, LCSW, Lower School Counselor and Keith Sarkisian, Lower School Director Have you ever eavesdropped on a group of 1st Graders discussing the difference between feeling included vs.feeling liked? Have you had the opportunity to listen to two 4th Graders disagree over the subtle nuances of feeling optimistic vs.feeling hopeful? How about a class of Kindergarteners … Continue reading “Emotional Intelligence Charters in the Lower School”

Using Advisory Effectively: A Case Study

By Sarah Novick Advisory can be a great vehicle to implement character education.  I recently had the privilege of getting to know students, teachers, teacher-advisors, and administrators involved with revamping an advisory program at San Francisco University High School (SFUHS). For about 20 years SFUHS had an advisory period in its schedule. When I got … Continue reading “Using Advisory Effectively: A Case Study”

Founded on Caring: A Case Study of Sadler Arts Academy

by Becky Sipos As we wrap up February’s focus on Principle 4: Creating a caring community, I thought it would be nice to look at a case study, one school that emphasizes caring in everything it does. Although all of our Schools of Character create caring communities, I chose a school that was founded on … Continue reading “Founded on Caring: A Case Study of Sadler Arts Academy”

Resource Roundup: Creating Caring & Kind Classrooms

We want every classroom to be a caring and kind one. Unfortunately, with the emphasis on literacy and math, encouraging good character isn’t always seen as a priority. We want to re-energize you in your pursuit to help every child develop empathy and consideration for others. We’ve listed some of the best resources for creating … Continue reading “Resource Roundup: Creating Caring & Kind Classrooms”

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