When art, literacy and character collide, the writing’s on the wall. Muralist Kathy Hammond painted the Six Pillars of Character and their supporting values on a wall in the “Character Court” at Westwood-Bales Elementary School in Friendswood, Texas. Nice work!
In the mid-1990’s, when CHARACTER COUNTS! was just starting to crop up in communities across the country, it found fertile ground in the desert of New Mexico. Cities like Albuquerque and Roswell embraced it broadly. The school district and individual schools and their parent groups, sports leagues and youth-service organizations, the mayor and other public […]
Every day about 2,000 people visit CharacterCounts.org, but our traffic is bound to accelerate this Sunday, when CHARACTER COUNTS! makes 160 laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That’s right — NASCAR driver Brett Moffitt will be racing at the Brickyard 400, covering those 400 miles with “CHARACTER COUNTS!” emblazoned prominently on his #66 Toyota and on […]
By Barbara Gruener Early last week, a recent report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education caught my eye. “The Children We Mean to Raise: The Real Message Adults Are Sending About Values” reported that most young people in a recent survey said their parents and teachers rank achievement and happiness over caring for others. I immediately thought of my friend Sheila Sjolseth. She’s […]
Happy Birthday, America! Congratulations on 238 years of life as a nation conceived with the ideals of liberty and justice for all. Those ideals are captured in our Six Pillars of Character, and it’s fitting on this anniversary of our nation’s birth that we begin a renewed focus on the Six Pillars with a program […]
As a recent article in the New Republic points out, teaching kids “performance character” qualities like grit, optimism and social intelligence is all the rage. The increasingly popular Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) is a leading proponent of this “new character education.” Teachers at KIPP charter schools even issue a regular Character Growth Card to assess students in […]
In-service season is here, so it’s time to plan a professional development workshop where we come to you and help provide solutions to whatever challenges face your school or organization.
Best Practices in Character Education: Q & A With Teacher James Sye In his latest blog post, CHARACTER COUNTS! Director Jeff McMurdy spotlights a few exemplary educators who are doing great things with CHARACTER COUNTS!. James Sye, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at La Paloma Academy in Tucson, Arizona, was one of them. We asked him to share his perspective and a […]
On an average day, I connect with about a dozen educators. In these conversations, I hear more than a few misconceptions about character education. Here are the three most common myths that I encounter: 1. Your program is not a curriculum, which is what we really need in order for it to be effective. 2. We’re a […]
Regular readers of this blog know Barbara Gruener, the school counselor in Texas who writes monthly installments for us, in addition to maintaining her own blog, The Corner On Character. We’re pleased to announce the publication of her new book, What’s Under Your Cape? Superheroes of the Character Kind, which is available in our online store, her […]