CC! Week 2011: The week that was.

It has been so much fun to read about what our CC! schools and communities were up to during CHARACTER COUNTS! Week this year. Here’s a rundown on activities from one end of the country to the other, and beyond:

Elementary Schools

Goleta, California. At Ellwood Elementary School, the week got off to a great start with a school-wide telecast featuring an address from the principal and a musical performance of “Six Simple Words” by the 3rd graders.

West Seneca, New York. Character Cinema is a beloved part of CC! Week at Clinton Street Elementary School. Students watch a movie that relates to the Six Pillars of Character and hold a discussion afterward. This year, 4th – 6th graders watched Soul Surfer and discussed perseverance.  At the end of the week, 6th graders performed their own dramatic version of the picture book The Tower for a school-wide assembly.

Clovis, California. Each day of the week had a different focus at Freedom Elementary School. On Monday, students wrote about the Pillar of Character that they felt best described themselves. Later in the week, they played cooperative games, and at the end of the week, each grade prepared a cheer for the all-school pep rally.

Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Students at Belle Chasse Academy celebrated with traditional New Orleans second line parade, accompanied by specially decorated character umbrellas.

Sibley, Iowa. Sibley-Ocheyedan Elementary ended the week with a rally in which students with military parents deployed overseas were honored as “Hometown Heroes.” These students were recognized for the courage they’ve been called on to show, and the responsibilities they’ve taken on since their parents’ deployments.

Community-wide Organizations

Bartlett, Illinois. Three adult members of the community were awarded “People of the Pillar” awards by the Bartlett CHARACTER COUNTS! coalition. The winners were: Velma Gruenwald, who raised her five nieces and nephews after their mother died, is a Sunday school teacher, a long-time crossing guard, and a Relay for Life participant, and Kim and John Boske, who clean trash from a community bike path every weekend.

Gaithersburg, Maryland. The City of Gaithersburg threw a big party for the winners of two youth contests: Elementary and middle school students who created posters that illustrated the Pillars of Character, and middle and high school students who  wrote essays about “Adult Heroes in Our Community.”

Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The Watters Child Development Center on this military installation kicked off the week with a Spirit Day Parade. Throughout the week, children and families took part in activities designed to reinforce the Six Pillars, such as creating friendship bracelets and badges of respect, taking part in a community clean-up and a food drive, and hosting a parents Reading Day.

Martin County, Florida. United Way of Martin County got the whole community involved in CC! Week.  They gave T-shirts to school children in the county, and gave mini-grants to educators for character-building projects. Adult clients with disabilities at the Helping People Succeed showcased artwork that depicted the Six Pillars. Meanwhile, the street lights in downtown Stuart, Fla., were lined with CC! Week banners, and businesses and staff member received character awards.

K-12 and High Schools

Parkersburg, Iowa. The Aplington-Parkersburg High School kicked off CC! Week with a community-wide assembly that featured talks by a leadership development coach, the school’s character and leadership teacher, the town’s mayor, and a friend of a beloved and inspirational coach who was murdered two years ago.

Ottawa, Illinois. The CHARACTER COUNTS! Club at Ottawa Township High School organized a “Facebook Blackout” (in which participants pledge not to use Facebook for a given amount of time, usually 24 hours) to bring awareness to online bullying, and a day for Random Acts of Kindness.

Brasilia, Brazil. The American School of Brasilia used literature as a focus for CC! Week. Throughout the week, teachers used age-appropriate literature to examine lessons and questions about ethics and character. At the end of the week, classes made presentations at the school-wide annual book fair.

Patoka, Illinois. As part of an anti-bullying effort, Patoka School distributed orange bracelets to all students that read either “Warriors vs. Bullies” or “Mohawks vs. Bullies,” depending on the mascot of the individual school.

Images: (1) New Ulm High School in New Ulm, Minn. (2) A banner in Stuart, Fla. (3) Umbrellas ready to join the Second Line in Belle Chasse, La. (4) Students sing during an assembly at Valley View Elementary in Rapid City, S.D.

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