Bayless Elementary School – St. Louis, MO

Program: Character Camp

Bayless Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri, created a year-end celebration called Character Camp. This Promising Practice empowers students, teachers, and parents to research and create various stations that emphasize the character traits.

Here’s an example of how it worked one year. First, the teachers came up with a theme for baylessblogthe camp, e.g., “Where in the world is Character Carl?” Next, the students and teachers held class meetings to choose a destination for Character Carl to visit. The students had to research the destination so they’d be able to represent the location (through decorations) at the activity site. The decorations were also used at Character Camp, to tie it all together.

Each activity at Character Camp had a character-based activity: Chinese Chop Stick Relay (Teamwork), African Jungle Monkeys and Gorillas (Perseverance), and Asian Dragon Race (Integrity). Parents, staff members, and community members were encouraged to come and help run each station.

As is required of all Promising Practices, they incorporated one of the principles from CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education — principle 4: creating a caring community. By encouraging community involvement, the students are learning how to engage with those outside of their school.

The Character Education Partnership (CEP) created the Promising Practices program to foster school improvement by providing a proven framework, professional feedback, and models of excellence. To find out more and apply to receive a Promising Practices award for the 2012-2013 school year, visit Applications are due March 17.