Why is character education important?

Focusing on four aspects of character:

moral character

Moral Character

The qualities that help us be our best self, including trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

performance character

Performance Character

The qualities that help us do our best work, including self-discipline, diligence, organization, and confidence.

intellectual character

Intellectual Character

The skills and traits needed to be a motivated and committed learner, critical thinker, and creative problem solver, including curiosity, intellectual autonomy, humility, and open-mindedness.

civic character

Civic Character

The skills and traits needed to be an ethical, engaged citizen who demonstrates leadership, teamwork, civility, and creates positive change in their community.

Achieves growth in:


Students will become motivated and committed learners capable of self-direction and pursuing wisdom. They will have a growth mindset and will be critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers who understand and apply knowledge, demonstrate intellectual integrity, and can solve challenging problems. These skills then translate from academic contexts to career fields.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Students will be able to demonstrate self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills. Students who develop social-emotional competencies are prepared to work with others in their academic, personal, and professional life.


Students can use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as their social-emotional competencies to be ethical, engaged citizens and leaders who serve their school, family, workplaces, and community as a trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, and caring change agent.

Character education and SEL curriculum resources, activities, lessons, and more!


character counts curricular resourcesMore Professional Development Workshops

We offer a variety of outstanding professional development workshops. Dynamic CHARACTER COUNTS! trainers deliver each of the following interactive professional development workshops in half-or full-day format.

The 12 core values and skills: the Six Pillars of Character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship) are the foundation for CHARACTER COUNTS! workshops. We will tailor your workshop to fit your needs.

Choose from just some of the following:

  • An Introduction to CHARACTER COUNTS!
  • Increasing Parent Engagement
  • Stress Management
  • And more!

See the complete list of our workshops.

Resilience and Inclusion Lesson PlansResilience and Inclusion Lesson Plans – NEW!

Though the pandemic has presented many unique challenges, it is not the only obstacle that our students will face. Students need resilience strategies to address personal adversity (like injuries and mistakes) and societal challenges (like lack of equity and inclusion). Each lesson in this series includes research-based resources that students can apply to all aspects of their life. Educators and students will learn strategies to become a leader that positively influences change in their classrooms, teams, and communities. This series is designed for middle and high school-aged youth.

This curriculum features four lessons:

  • Stress Management and Mental Health
  • Overcoming Obstacles with a Growth Mindset
  • Creating an Inclusive Culture
  • Taking Ownership of Your Actions, Decisions, and Mistakes

What’s included in each lesson:

  • Facilitator Guide – Lesson Script and Facilitator Tips
  • Student Workbook – Includes Optimal Performance Assessments and Excellence with Integrity tools

Resource Highlight: The ESSENTIALS

Designed for educators working with middle and high school youth, The ESSENTIALS is a research-based program that focuses on ten critical competencies needed for success in school, extra-curricular activities, work, and beyond. Modules are aligned with the Six Pillars of Character and the core CASEL Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies of self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

Click here to learn more about The ESSENTIALS

Putting Integrity into ActionCore Leadership PracticesMastering Goal AchievementDeveloping Growth Mindset

Program Overview

Dedicated to education - character education

CHARACTER COUNTS! uses its Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship as a foundational strategy while using the TEAM approach and incorporating other character education best-practices.

Learn more.


CHARACTER COUNTS! offers a variety of outstanding professional development workshops. Dynamic CHARACTER COUNTS! trainers deliver each of the following interactive professional development workshops in half-or full-day format. We will tailor your workshop to fit your needs.

Learn more.

Lesson Plans

Decision-Making - Character Education

Check out our free K-12 character education lesson plans! Lessons are searchable by grade level and Six Pillar. Resources for families are also available.

Learn more.

Curricular Resources

character education - Responsible, Engaged, Autonomous, and Connected Learners

Our online store offers a variety of character education and SEL curricular resources and awareness materials. Materials are also available in Spanish.

Learn more.

Character Counts

CHARACTER COUNTS! Social-Emotional Results 

Schools participating in CHARACTER COUNTS! are seeing positive results in academic performance, social and emotional skills, school climate, and character development.

Verbal altercations down 68%. 
– Riverside Brookfield High, IL

88% of teachers say students are more emotionally and physically safe as result of CHARACTER COUNTS!
– Puerto Rico

See more results.

“CHARACTER COUNTS! is such an integral part of what we exemplify here at North Pike Elementary. We were excited to offer training to several of our new faculty members, so they could become more immersed in our CHARACTER COUNTS! overall program.

We are looking forward to sharing A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Good Character at our Parent Night. Our faculty sees the difference we can make in a young child’s life by sharing the values of CHARACTER COUNTS! on a daily basis with each and every student entrusted to our care.”

     Winona Dykes
     North Pike Elementary School
     Summit, MS

School Highlight: Harvey Austin Elementary School (Buffalo, NY)

Contact us to help get started on your character education and SEL program!

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