National Schools of Character (NSOC) winners are asked to do outreach to educators in surrounding schools. Below is an email highlighting the fruits of such outreach. Thanks to Barb Gruener at 2009 NSOC winner Westwood Elementary School in Friendswood, TX for spreading character ed!

Dear Barb,

Thank you so much for coming to our school and showing us how to implement some very simple, yet powerful and effective, tools for class building. I implemented the morning meeting as part of our daily routine since the first day of school. It is the highlight of our morning-especially sharing time. I was able to see this morning how truly powerful it really is.

Today, our learning family really showed its true colors when a student shared that an infant sibling passed away over the weekend. He shared. The class listened. Then the class, in turn, offered him their condolences in their own sweet, first grade way. We even had several “connections” as some other first graders remembered losing a loved one. During our song time, (A song where shake hands, high-five, hug, etc.)-everyone surrounded my student in attempt to help him feel loved. This simple morning meeting routine has provided my class with a built-in support system, for good times and bad. I really appreciate everything and hope we get the chance to learn more from you in the future.

Kathryn A Beauchene

First Grade Teacher
Coulson Tough School, Conroe ISD

For more information on NSOC, see the NSOC section on CEP’s website.

To learn about Westwood Elementary School, see page 30 of the 2009 NSOC booklet.