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”

Service Learning for Character and Academic Lessons

“Your [service learning] program has allowed me to reach students that I thought were unreachable. Their entire outlook on school and on life has changed drastically; I truly cannot thank you enough.” – 6th Grade Teacher

Students Take Action: Hunger Stops Here

By Rebecca Bauer With the announcement of the 2016 Promising Practices only a few days away, I’m feeling excited to welcome a new batch of teachers and schools into our network. Promising Practices are an integral part of our work at Character.org because they give us the chance to recognize the amazing work happening in … Continue reading “Students Take Action: Hunger Stops Here”

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”

9 MLK Quotes to Inspire Your Day of Service

  For a number of years now, the Corporation for National and Community Service has declared  Martin Luther King Day, “A Day On, Not a Day Off.” It is truly fitting that we honor this American hero by giving back to others. For lesson plans, promising practices and articles on service learning, we encourage you to … Continue reading “9 MLK Quotes to Inspire Your Day of Service”

Giving and Receiving in the Holiday Spirit: A Challenge for Parents and Kids Alike

By Philip Brown Whether we are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, we can all agree that the holidays can bring out the best of us and the worst of us. As the big end of year holidays approach it is a common experience to get anxious about how much there is to do, whether we … Continue reading “Giving and Receiving in the Holiday Spirit: A Challenge for Parents and Kids Alike”

6 Key Ingredients for Powerful Service Learning

  by Sheril Morgan, Director, Schools of Character Entitlement.  Webster says the definition of entitlement is the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges). There have been many conversations about younger generations having a sense of entitlement these days. When parents ask their children to do something, it … Continue reading “6 Key Ingredients for Powerful Service Learning”

Improving Motivation through Student Voice & Choice

By Tamra Nast, Birmingham Covington School CounselorEdited by Lori Soifer, Michigan State Schools of Character Coordinator There is no owner’s manual for parents and teachers to tell us how to help each child grow into ethical, empathetic and responsible learners, leaders and citizens. Students come to us with unique abilities and talents. I believe the … Continue reading “Improving Motivation through Student Voice & Choice”

Promising Practices in Service Learning

by Rebecca Bauer Are you looking to revamp or improve your service learning program? Challenge yourself to go beyond the typical annual food drive or fundraiser. Read about these three schools’ unique and powerful practices and the lessons we can all learn from them. Consider how you can make these ideas work in your own … Continue reading “Promising Practices in Service Learning”

Why I Serve: A Student Perspective on Servant Leadership

As a part of Principle 9, shared leadership, we aim to emphasize the crucial role students play in character education initiatives. One way we can value students’ contributions is by providing them the opportunity to share their own thoughts. Franchesca Ramirez, the author of this post, is a member of the Milton Hershey School Class … Continue reading “Why I Serve: A Student Perspective on Servant Leadership”

Taking Service Learning to the Next Level: Cultivating Leaders

During March, as we have been focusing on principle 5, creating opportunities for moral action, we have been talking a lot about service learning. We showcased Cherry Hill Alternative High School’s service learning program. We shared our thoughts on the difference between service learning and community service. But perhaps your school already feels like it … Continue reading “Taking Service Learning to the Next Level: Cultivating Leaders”

More Than Community Service: Creating Opportunities for Moral Action

Do you think you made a good choice? Did you do the right thing? These questions are in the school announcements, in the school song. They’re everywhere, according to Schools of Character principal Kimmie Etheredge. Does that focus on doing the right thing make a difference?  Etheredge shared this story. “The manager of a store … Continue reading “More Than Community Service: Creating Opportunities for Moral Action”

How to Empower Students through Service Learning: Spotlight on Cherry Hill Alternative High

Flipping through our most recent, National Schools of Character Magazine, I was intrigued by a photo of students from Cherry Hill Alternative High School (Cherry Hill). Instead of sitting at desks in a classroom, they were out in their community, learning from local business leaders. Eager to learn more about the school’s service learning initiatives, … Continue reading “How to Empower Students through Service Learning: Spotlight on Cherry Hill Alternative High”

Character Resource Roundup: Tools to Help Teach Service Learning

In March, our blog will be focusing on opportunities for moral action, Principle 5 of our 11 Principles. Want your students to make that leap from moral thinking and feeling to moral action? Engage them in service learning projects. Need Inspiration? Service learning projects are most valuable and most fun when they are student-led initiatives. … Continue reading “Character Resource Roundup: Tools to Help Teach Service Learning”

What is your school doing for others? Reflecting on Service Learning

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Though a simple question, it is one we can never ask our students enough. The Corporation for National and Community Service urges us to consider the Martin Luther King Day, “a day on not a day off” … Continue reading “What is your school doing for others? Reflecting on Service Learning”

Our Friends in the Philippines – Please Help

As you all know, the stories coming from the Philippines are terrible and heartbreaking.  The extent of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines) is not yet known, but the loss of life and property is perhaps too high to even comprehend.

The OCHO Project: Read for a Need–Teaching Children to Help Others

By Marilyn Perlyn The OCHO Project: Read for a Need(Opportunities for Children to Help Others) exposes children to the joys of reading while teaching them that they can help others less fortunate than themselves. It is an elementary school program in which students embark on a 6-8 week literacy journey that is infused with eighteen … Continue reading “The OCHO Project: Read for a Need–Teaching Children to Help Others”

Promising Practices Spotlight: Bonneville Elementary School

Bonneville Elementary School – Salt Lake City, UT Program: Go Green Bonneville Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah, created a Promising Practice called the “Go Green” Team. Third-graders discovered how to “Go Green” through activities such as the Morning Mile, the “Go Green” Operas, the Recycled Gifts Boutique, and the Recycling Science Fair project. … Continue reading “Promising Practices Spotlight: Bonneville Elementary School”

National School of Character Helps Neighboring School after Sandy

Richard Stockton Elementary (2012 National School of Character) students were busy in the week before Thanksgiving as they worked on their service efforts to help those impacted by Superstorm Sandy. On Tuesday, students, staff, and parents traveled with the donations they had collected to Brigantine, New Jersey, home of 2011 NSOC Brigantine Elementary.

National Schools of Character Lead Post-Sandy Service Learning

Eloisa DeJesus-Woodruff, Principal of 2012 National School of Character (NSOC) Richard Stockton Elementary in Cherry Hill, New Jersey was so moved by the devastation being faced by her fellow citizens in New Jersey and New York in the wake of Sandy that she returned from the National Forum ready to act. She had a vision … Continue reading “National Schools of Character Lead Post-Sandy Service Learning”

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