Creating Safe Spaces that Nurture Learning

When it comes to flourishing in school nowadays, scientific evidence is mounting that confirms what many of us have suspected all along—that if we want children to truly learn, and to perform better in life as both students and citizens, then we have to educate them in an environment that they see as safe, caring … Continue reading “Creating Safe Spaces that Nurture Learning”

The Content of Our Character

By Mark HyattPresident & CEO This Aug. 28 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech—or as we like to refer to it at CEP, his “Content of Character” speech. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, addressing more than 250,000 civil rights supporters … Continue reading “The Content of Our Character”

Character Education Data and the New Character Map

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, has developed a new at-a-glance tool—the Character Map.

Summer Reading—for Pleasure and for Professional Development

Four ‘Character’ Books to Explore By Becky Sipos, Chief Operating Officer When I was a teacher, I always looked forward to catching up on the pleasures of reading during summer vacation. I accumulated a big stack of beach reading and fun novels, but I also always took time to read some education books to improve my … Continue reading “Summer Reading—for Pleasure and for Professional Development”

Remembering Sandy McDonnell’s Commitment to Character Education

The world lost a great leader when CEP’s co-founder and Chairman Emeritus Sanford N. McDonnell passed away in March. The overwhelming outpour of emotions from those who knew him and whose lives he had touched inspired CEP to archive the sentiments and prepare a book of memories for the McDonnell family. Our Vice President, Joe … Continue reading “Remembering Sandy McDonnell’s Commitment to Character Education”

President’s Post: Off We Go!

CEP VISION STATEMENT Young people everywhere who are educated, inspired and empowered to be ethical and engaged citizens. CEP MISSION STATEMENT Providing the vision, leadership and resources for schools, families and communities to develop ethical citizens committed to building a just and caring world. Exciting times for CEP!  On August 27th, we officially entered our … Continue reading “President’s Post: Off We Go!”

CEP and The Virtues Project Offer Free Tickets to See the Movie Bully

If you live in Washington, DC area and have a stake in our nation’s education, you are invited to reserve your ticket today to see the movie Bully for free. Only 250 tickets are available. If you do not reserve a ticket, you are not guaranteed admission to this event.

Welcome to the official CEP Blog on Character

Here you will find articles from CEP Members, Leaders, Speakers, and select authors from around the country and the world. As a CEP Member please feel free to make comments about the articles you see here. We welcome feedback and suggestions!

2009 Conference – 16th National Forum on Character Education

“Citizens of Character – the Foundationof Democracy”October 29-31, 2009Hilton Alexandria Mark CenterAlexandria, Virginia

2009 National Schools of Character Award Winners Announced

The Character Education Partnership (CEP) has named seven public schools, one charter school, one private school, and one school district as 2009 National Schools of Character. Read the Press Release.

Unethical, Illegal, or Just Dumb?

By Joe Mazzola, CEP Executive Director I’ve been following the trial of former Congressman William Jefferson in the Washington Post.  (You probably remember the case. He was found with $90,000 stashed in his freezer.  The money, marked by the FBI, was allegedly to be used to bribe the VP of another country. Jefferson was charged … Continue reading “Unethical, Illegal, or Just Dumb?”

PBIS and Character Education: An Evolution towards Best Practice

From Merle Schwartz, CEP director of education and research Before I came to CEP in August of 2002, I was a school psychologist in Maine, a learning & behavior specialist, and wrote the first graduate course at that time on PBIS for the University of Southern Maine. Before that, I was a special education teacher … Continue reading “PBIS and Character Education: An Evolution towards Best Practice”


The following post was written by Marilyn Jackson, Guidance Counselor, Fox C-6 School District, Seckman High School We have heard it said many times that “learning is power,” and while obviously this is true, we often do not examine how we empower the learner.  How do we create an inviting atmosphere where students have autonomy? How can … Continue reading “INSPIRING THE VOICE, EMPOWERING THE STUDENT”

Service leadership from younger students

Submitted by Nan Peterson, Director of Service PK-12 at The Blake School, in Minneapolis, MN.

Celebrating Cultural Differences in a Caring School Community

This post was written by Ron Tucker, principal, Bayless Junior High School, St. Louis, MO In this era of high-stakes testing and ever-increasing accountability, educators across the country have become familiar with the term “as evidenced by” when it comes to defending their school improvement plans. While testing is important, we know that developing healthy, … Continue reading “Celebrating Cultural Differences in a Caring School Community”

Character Education and Service: Narratives That Engage Difference and Friendship

This post was written by Nan Peterson, Blake School, Hopkins, Minnesota Teachers can help students develop the skills to engage authentically across difference through a series of interviews with the end goal of composing and making a gift of a published account of their partner’s story. The service is the gift of story and the gift … Continue reading “Character Education and Service: Narratives That Engage Difference and Friendship”

“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”

Assessment and Sustainability

Posted by Brian McKenney, Principal, Long School In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, S.R. Covey suggests that when planning a program one should start with the end in mind.  At Long School, before planning new initiatives, the character leadership team analyzes data from the CHARACTERplus® School Report, completed each spring, to get a … Continue reading “Assessment and Sustainability”

The Greenfield Way: Transforming our School Culture with Character-Based Discipline

By Claudia St. Amour, counselor

Avoiding Teacher Burnout

I’ve been on the road for CEP lately, exhibiting at a few conferences. So I’ve had the opportunity to talk to quite a few teachers, and many are feeling burned out. They’re tired of being the media scapegoats for all that is wrong with education. There’s even a Facebook page where teachers are posting Letters … Continue reading “Avoiding Teacher Burnout”

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