Character, Literacy, and Language Development at Bayless Junior High

By Bob Efken, Assistant Principal and Doug Harness, Principal Doug and I have been at Bayless Junior High, a small school of 350 students in the Bayless School District, for fourteen years. We love that Bayless is the most culturally diverse district in Missouri, with over 50% of students speaking a primary language other than … Continue reading “Character, Literacy, and Language Development at Bayless Junior High”

Literature as a Path to Good Character and Better Decisions

By Stephen Ellenwood Good literature can help us understand both a range of nuances regarding key virtues such as kindness, persistence, or honesty and the complexities of how to answer questions that require, for example, both kindness and honesty. This approach is based in part on Jessamyn West’s wise counsel, “Fiction reveals truths that reality … Continue reading “Literature as a Path to Good Character and Better Decisions”

Powerful Analogies From Nature that Build Character

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 … Continue reading “Powerful Analogies From Nature that Build Character”

How can we create more just and democratic schools?

In Marvin Berkowitz’s Hot Topic discussion this afternoon, he didn’t hesitate to cut right to the point. “We need to make schools less like prisons,” he said. “When you think about it, it’s disconcerting how much the analogy fits. How can we create more enlightened and just schools?” Marvin’s talk focused on utilizing empowerment and … Continue reading “How can we create more just and democratic schools?”

“Character By Design” – Systematic Character Education Curriculum Development

Submitted by Donna Dunar, principal, Alta Leary Elementary School What’s that old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention”? In 2009, we earned National Schools of Character (NSOC) winner status; in 2008, we earned standing as “finalist.” As a finalist in the NSOC process, our site visitors rightly recommended that we work on the integration of character … Continue reading ““Character By Design” – Systematic Character Education Curriculum Development”

RAGBRAI and Core Values

Last week my brother and sister completed RAGBRAI—the bicycle ride across Iowa. From the starting point in Sioux City to the end point in Dubuque, they rode 480 miles over the course of the week. They both came home tired but euphoric. They’d had a wonderful time.My sister couldn’t stop talking about how friendly everyone … Continue reading “RAGBRAI and Core Values”

Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders

The following post was submitted from Beverly Woods Elementary School, a 2009 National School of Character. How do we prepare our students for a future in which the jobs they will be doing do not yet exist and the technologies that they will be working with have not yet been invented? The answer to this … Continue reading “Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders”

Bowls for Hunger

CEP’s March focus is Principle 5: Providing Opportunities for Moral Action. The following service learning idea was submitted by Tina Sohn, Art Teacher & District Character Leader, Sullivan Primary School a 2010 Nationa School of Character, Sullivan, Missouri . We’d love to hear what your school is doing. Sullivan Primary School (pre-K through first grade) … Continue reading “Bowls for Hunger”

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