Mark HyattDear 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 farewell to 2012. We are sad because we know that too many young people are still suffering in our society, due to many factors, not the least of which is violence in schools and surrounding neighborhoods.

Earlier this month, in the wake of the monstrous tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “Our schools should and must be one of the safest places in society. Now is the time for another, ‘quieter heroism’ in our schools—the courage to move forward, to continue to teach and lead children, and to take smart precautions to minimize the risk of future tragedies.”

We share this commitment to press onward with both courage and character. In 2013, CEP will take up this cause with hope and renewed purpose to help more families, schools and communities surround our young people with life-affirming experiences, role models and media that encourage them to be their best selves.

With every gray hair or wrinkle discovered, we veterans of this cause are reminded daily that our world today is a young person’s world. We want to leave behind less prejudice and bullying, more caring and compassion, young adults who are nurturing role models and encouragers in every way for future generations. Since its inception, CEP’s aim has been to help mold young people who know what is right and do it habitually. That way, others will know that they can be counted on to do the right thing, even when the pressure is on and real courage is required. 

In the New Year and beyond, CEP is absolutely committed to helping all of you to create this kind of nurturing environment in your home, school, community, on sports teams and in other extra-curricular organizations.All can be—and should be—excellent incubators for the kind of good social, emotional, character development that our young people deserve. 

With that goal in mind, we pledge to work with you, our nation’s schools, teachers, parents, administrators, CEP state affiliates, local school boards, state and federal agencies, corporate America and beyond—anyone who supports our cause—to reshape the world for the better. We will continue to lead this national call to character and we ask that you help us spread that message far and wide in 2013. Abraham Lincoln famously asked us to call upon “the better angels of our nature.” Well, now we call upon you to help us in this necessary and noble mission in the useful service to our children.


All the best,


Mark Hyatt, President, CEP