The Six Pillars of Character

The Six Pillars of Character are the core ethical values of CHARACTER COUNTS!

Each of the Six Pillars of Character, in combination with character education and SEL best practices, help create a positive school climate, making schools a safe environment for students to learn.


  • Be honest.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do.
  • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country.


  • Treat others with respect and follow the Golden Rule.
  • Be tolerant and accepting of differences.
  • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone.
  • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements.


  • Do what you are supposed to do.
  • Persevere.
  • Do your best.
  • Use self-control.


  • Play by the rules.
  • Be open-minded; listen to others.
  • Don’t take advantage of others.
  • Don’t blame others carelessly.

Caring Caring

  • Be kind and compassionate.
  • Express gratitude.
  • Forgive others and show mercy.
  • Help people in need.


  • Do your share to make your home, school, community, and world better.
  • Cooperate.
  • Stay informed; vote.
  • Be a good neighbor.

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

Character Counts School PlannersCHARACTER COUNTS! School Planners

Create a positive school environment with our CHARACTER COUNTS! student planners!

Planners offer character lessons and challenges for each of the Six Pillars of Character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship) and feature ample writing space, colorful designs, study tips, planning helpers, and more.

Learn more about the 2021 student planners.


Have you checked out the benefits of our CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition?

Members receive a 10% discount at our store, special rates on character education workshops, and access to a private members-only website featuring key resources – including video tips for educators!

Learn more about Coalition benefits.

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.

New modules just released! Plus receive one FREE module with the purchase of one (or more) modules at regular price. Offer valid through 6/30/21.

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

Community Spotlight: Glenview, IL

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