On September 28th, the United States Senate unanimously passed Resolution 658, designating the week beginning October 17th, 2010, as ”National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week.”
Declaring National CC! Week to be “of great benefit to the United States,” the resolution calls upon the people “to embrace the elements of character identified by local schools and communities, such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship,” and “to observe the week with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities.”
Senator Dodd of Connecticut, who worked on the bipartisan resolution with Senator Grassley of Iowa, read into the record the need for character education in America and the effectiveness of CC!:
Character education provides students a context within which to learn those values and integrate them into our daily lives. Indeed, if we view education simply as the imparting of knowledge to our children, then we not only miss an opportunity, but we also jeopardize our future.
The American public wants character education in our schools, too. Studies show that approximately 90 percent of Americans support schools teaching character education. Character education programs work. Currently, there are character education programs across all 50 States in rural, urban and suburban areas at every grade level. Schools across the country that have adopted strong character education programs report better student performance, fewer discipline problems, and increased student involvement within the community.
On October 15th, President Obama proclaimed October 17-23, 2010, as National Character Counts Week.
Focusing on the importance of empathy in our society, President Obama wrote, “The strength and character of our country have always come from our ability to recognize ourselves in one another. Concern for the well-being of our fellow Americans has shaped our Nation’s development and will continue to cast our future.”
The President wrote of the responsibility that parents, teachers, and community leaders have to instill values in the nation’s youth and demonstrate those values. He praised those who devote time and energy to serving their communities, and he called upon “all public officials, educators, parents, students, and Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.”
Here’s the full text of the Presidential Proclamation: