When Sara leaves her house each day, she know she has loving teachers waiting. Every day that 8-year-old Sara goes to school, educators at Plattin Primary in Festus, Missouri make sure she encounters a culture of character. Plattin students start each day off with a curbside greeting from their principle and PE teacher. Once inside the building, students continue to be welcomed by loving staff as well their teachers who meet each student at the entrance to their classrooms.

“We want to make sure that character education is part of everything we do. Every minute of every day our students are exposed to character learning opportunities” says principal Tina Basler. Along with caring teachers, principal Basler has developed Plattin, a 2012 National School of Character, into a model school of character education.

The amazing part of Plattin Primary’s story is that teachers and students do more than talk a good game. After their welcome each day, students recite the Plattin Primary Daily Character Pledge.

“I can make today a great day, by following the Blue Jay Way. I will show respect, friendship, responsibility, and honesty to make myself and others proud of me. I will do my best to learn and play and make this day an awesome day!”

Once students have been welcomed and committed themselves to a positive day, the real learning begins. Plattin’s educators have developed a system of touch points that allow students receive consistent positive messaging about the importance of good character. Activities like “Bucket-Filling”, “Caring Corner” “Class Cheers”, and the “Buddies” program, where older students are paired up to mentor and encourage younger students, lay the foundation for a world-class character education program.

We congratulate Plattin Primary for their outstanding example they are setting for schools around the world. Thank you for you contribution to CEP’s 2012 “Marketplace of Ideas” and for receiving our National School of Character distinction!

For more information on the National Forum on Character Education, or how to become a Character.org National School of Character — thanks for reading.