Highlights From CHARACTER COUNTS! Week 2012

Schools, organizations, and entire communities in the U.S. and abroad found wonderful ways to celebrate CHARACTER COUNTS! Week 2012 (October 21-27).

Here in California, our CHARACTER COUNTS! staff visited schools across the state every day last week and came back with some great stories that we’d like to share with you:

Monday October 22, 2012
CHARACTER COUNTS! Program Representative Taaji Rauf visited Chapman Elementary School in Gardena and had this to say: “The entire school was excited about getting CHARACTER COUNTS! Week started. All the students headed out to the playground for the CHARACTER COUNTS! Week kick-off assembly.

Everyone was wearing red to represent Caring and to tie in with Red Ribbon Week. Six students stood in front of the assembly with posters that had each Pillar word emblazoned on the front. They were also dressed in the Pillar color that they were holding. I was asked to explain CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. The students were really excited. They walked to class chanting, ‘We are TRRFCC!’” (For the uninitiated, that stands for: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.)

 Tuesday October 23, 2012
CHARACTER COUNTS! Director Jeff McMurdy and Program Representatives Laurie Calloway and Megan Duenes visited the Imperial PAU-Leuzinger High School Campus in Lawndale. They were welcomed by Imperial PAU Principal Lucy Madden and Transition Teacher Cheryl Hossum. The campus’ teachers led the students into the courtyard and presented an interactive storytelling lesson plans about respect.

Afterwards, the students practiced their respectful introductions with the CHARACTER COUNTS! staff. The campus was beautifully decorated with art featuring pictures of the students demonstrating Six Pillar values. The artwork was part of the Six Pillars lessons the teachers present, giving the students a chance to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts. It was a wonderful visit and CHARACTER COUNTS! looks forward to working more with Imperial PAU.

Wednesday October 24, 2012
Taaji Rauf and Program Manager Christina Butler visited Ellwood Elementary School in Goleta:
“Ellwood Elementary is the pride of Goleta, California.
The school is beautifully situated overlooking the ocean. Everyone at the school is involved with CHARACTER COUNTS! year round. The energy on the campus was peacefully electric and the students were all smiles.

For CHARACTER COUNTS! Week, students and teachers dress up in the Pillar colors. On our visit, the Pillar for the day was Fairness and everyone wore orange. It was wonderful to see an entire school  on every grade level participating in CHARACTER COUNTS! Week.”

Thursday October 25, 2012
Program Representatives Laurie Callaway and Megan Duenes visited Temple Beth Tikvah Early Childhood Learning Center in Fullerton:
“The 4-year-old preschool children learned the Six Pillar values, respective colors and character carousel animals. Students at Temple Beth Tikvah Early Childhood Learning Center in Fullerton, California did a Character Carousel activity with animal crackers for CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. They matched their animal crackers with the Character Carousel animals that they saw from the character carousel stickers. The animal crackers represented all six of the Character Carousel animals: Shinrai the Camel, Austus the Lion, Ansvar the Elephant, Guisto the Giraffe, Karina the Kangaroo and Kupa the Bear.”

Friday October  26, 2012
William Johnson from the CHARACTER COUNTS! National Office visited Robert Hill Lane Elementary in Monterey Park:
“I was greeted with ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What do you do for CC!?’ The students were so excited to have special guest from the Character Counts National office. I was able to take pics and video of this awesome assembly they performed. Then they asked me to speak about CC!. I just encouraged the kids to keep learning and keep participating.

I also encouraged the administration to  continue to be patient and work with the students. Implementation strategies that I saw working was signage that reinforced the importance of the Pillars. The 6th graders took the leadership role in putting on the assembly, and were an excellent example for the younger grades. Two highlights of my visit were the “No Bullying” Dance and the Respect Pillar performance (with Aretha Franklin’s respect playing in the background).”


Did you participate in CHARACTER COUNTS! Week? Please post a comment below and share your success stories with your fellow educators! Remember, CHARACTER COUNTS! everywhere, all the time, so keep the celebration going all year long. And be sure to email us your photos so we can post them on our Flickr page.


One thought on “Highlights From CHARACTER COUNTS! Week 2012”

  1. It was a pleasure to host Taaji and Christina on Wednesday, October 24th! What fine ambassadors they are to the CC! organization. Thank you for singing with us and touring Ellwood School!

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