I Am Grateful.

I just finished reading Brain on Fire, a powerful memoir of journalist Susannah Cahalan’s descent into madness. It is a gripping personal story as well as a fascinating look at the cutting edge of neuroscience. But one small story in the book really captured my heart–the story of Dr. Souhel Najjar, the doctor who was … Continue reading “I Am Grateful.”

The Kindness of Strangers: Help a Kid Gear Up for School

By Connie Matthiessen, Associate Editor of Great Schools (re-posted with permission) Back to school may be the second biggest shopping season of the year, but my family usually doesn’t join the stampede. My kids aren’t big shoppers, and neither am I; besides, times are tight. Someone will inevitably need a new pair of shoes or … Continue reading “The Kindness of Strangers: Help a Kid Gear Up for School”

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 & Class: Why We Love #42

By Dave Keller, Director of Transformation & Strategic Initiatives The moment last night was powerful and uplifting — and well deserved. In the history of Major League Baseball, no one has done what New York Yankees’ relief pitcher Mariano Rivera has done.  Simply put:  He is the greatest closing relief pitcher ever. But that’s not … Continue reading “Character & Class: Why We Love #42”

Empathy: To lead is to listen and to learn

Thank goodness my wife opened my eyes to the importance of empathy before I became a father and a school leader. To be honest, for the first half of my life, I was so driven to achieve the task at hand that I struggled to understand why some people just couldn’t show up, get to work and do what they had to … Continue reading “Empathy: To lead is to listen and to learn”

Can You Create ‘Quality Time’?

By Carey Casey  Leading up to Father’s Day, there’s a national campaign to remind fathers of the important role they play in their children’s lives. It uses a common phrase for its slogan: quality time. I endorse this, because we need dads embracing their roles, spending time with their kids, and making memories together. And … Continue reading “Can You Create ‘Quality Time’?”

A Valentine’s Accolade To The Teachers In This World

Submitted by Richard R. Pieper, Sr. One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates  and write it … Continue reading “A Valentine’s Accolade To The Teachers In This World”

Lessons in Character and Integrity from Les Miserables

It seems like everyone just can’t get enough of Les Miserables.  It’s the world’s longest running musical, now seen by 60M people in 42 countries.  Along the way, it’s received 96 major international awards.  The most recent movie version is a box office smash, earning eight Academy Awards nominations.

Happy Holidays and A Call to Action from Mark Hyatt

Dear CEP Family—   On behalf of the entire CEP staff and Board of Directors, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and New Year.  Like most of America in these uncharacteristically somber days, we at CEP are filled with great sadness as the K-12 community from coast to coast takes its winter break and bids … Continue reading “Happy Holidays and A Call to Action from Mark Hyatt”

Model Good Character with Eco-Friendly Holiday Gifts

Unless your pantry closely resembles the Back to School department at your local Walmart, buying new school supplies each year is something every parent can count on. Not only does it cost money, but supplying students with paper and other school-related items can put a damper on the environment and the world’s resources.

What Does It Mean to be a Character Role Model?

In my last blog I challenged myself, and probably meant to challenge you as well, by asking, “What am I going to do about my character development that will have a positive impact on my students?” In this blog I will explain one example of how I have attempted to answer this question in my … Continue reading “What Does It Mean to be a Character Role Model?”

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”

Preventing Academic Dishonesty Part 3: Students & Peer Pressure

As you sit in your crowded lecture hall and toil away at that seemingly impossible math problem, you glance down and see a peer in the next row surreptitiously looking at formulas he has scrawled on his hand. This scene sounds quite plausible to many students. Whether they’ve engaged in the behavior themselves or simply … Continue reading “Preventing Academic Dishonesty Part 3: Students & Peer Pressure”

Surprising Ways to Nurture Empathy in Kids

by Michele Borba REALITY CHECK: Empathy is the moral virtue that helps children “identify with and feel other people’s concerns.” When they do, they are more likely to reach out and respond in more caring, compassionate ways to others. Unlike genetics or appearance or most temperaments, empathy can be cultivated, and research shows that infants … Continue reading “Surprising Ways to Nurture Empathy in Kids”

Recent Scandals Highlight Need for Role Models

When I was growing up, I heard adults say: “Do as I say, not as I do.”  After spending the last decade as a public school superintendent, it didn’t take me long to realize that the kids of this millennium don’t have much use for that approach. Instead, they prefer role models whom they can … Continue reading “Recent Scandals Highlight Need for Role Models”

What Sandy Showed Me

 I have a very heavy heart right now because Sandy McDonnell passed away. You see, he was my hero. Like many others who knew and loved this great man, I now feel a huge emptiness in my life that I know will never be filled. I loved Sandy like a father. It was a great blessing to … Continue reading “What Sandy Showed Me”

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