Schools with rigorous implementation of CHARACTER COUNTS! create a culture that promotes positive outcomes in areas including: 


character counts academics
  • During four years of CHARACTER COUNTS! implementation, annual district API scores improved 5%.
    -Downey, CA
  • Number of failing grades reduced by 26%.
    -Riverside Brookfield High, IL

Social-Emotional (SEL)

character counts social emotional
  • Verbal altercations down 68%.
    -Riverside Brookfield High, IL
  • 88% of teachers say students are more emotionally and physically safe as a result of CHARACTER COUNTS!
    -Puerto Rico

School Climate

character counts school climate
  • Students reporting that they do not feel safe at school reduced from 56% to 50%.
    – Tulare Western High School, CA
  • Physical violence reported as a problem by students, down 30%.
    -Monte Vista Elementary, CA


character counts
  • School principals report an 85% increase in students treating each other with greater kindness.
    -Puerto Rico
  • 96% of parents say that CHARACTER COUNTS! is a valuable part of the school.
    -Downey, CA

School Highlights

Downey, CA

Downey, California — Downey Unified School District released their 10-year character education findings showing a dramatic 25-year low in suspensions and high marks from both students and parents on the use of CHARACTER COUNTS! within their schools.

Year after year, it is believed that our CHARACTER COUNTS! has played an integral role in these results in addition to improving school safety, student morale, engagement, and high school graduation rates.

Hinsdale, IL

Statistics prove that there has been an astounding cultural and paradigm shift in Hinsdale Central High since CC! was implemented:

  • 93% of students believe that adults at HCHS want them to succeed.
  • 85% report that some adult at school knows them well and cares about them.
  • 91% feel supported by their teachers.
  • 85% report that the school contributed to their personal growth.
  • 70% say that students at HCHS treat each other with respect.
  • 74% show pride in their school by volunteering.
  • 1999, 66 cases of harassment were reported. That figure is now 9.

Buffalo, NY

CHARACTER COUNTS! partnered with CITRS to focus on the development of character, social-emotional learning, school climate, and academic improvement in the Buffalo Public School District (BPSD). After 18 months, Buffalo schools saw results:


  • 8.7% increase in high school graduation rates in CC! schools
  • 6.7% improvement in attendance rates in CC! schools
  • 5.8% increase in elementary math proficiency rates
  • 7.7% increase in elementary English proficiency rates

Tulare County, CA

When CHARACTER COUNTS! was introduced in the Tulare County Office of Education’s court schools program in 1994, no one could have predicted the impact it would have on Tulare County’s youth. The program was so successful with students on probation that then County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak committed his office to make the program available to school districts, service agencies, and other facets of the community.


To ensure the program reached all of the county’s 43 school districts, Superintendent Vidak hired a full-time coordinator for the program in 1996. CHARACTER COUNTS! is now the main source for character education in Tulare County. Over 4,000 teachers, parents, and community members have been trained in the program.


tulare county character counts
Tulare character counts mural

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