Essential Characte_Jan 2015

Starting Your Character Education Journey

Becky Sipos

By Becky Sipos, President & CEO
For me, the New Year always brings an attitude of fresh start along with a reflection on accomplishments or disappointments of the past year. Pick up any magazine and you can see the imperatives: Lose 10 pounds in two weeks, plan more nutritious meals, get fit in only 15-minutes a day and so on. 

For schools, the imperatives usually revolve around better classroom management, helping low-achieving students to be more successful, getting all faculty onboard with positive school goals, or meeting state and federal testing requirements.

The trouble with most New Year’s resolutions is that the adopters are often looking for a quick fix. Unfortunately, neither losing weight nor transforming school culture is a quick fix, but both are worthy goals.  
Read more >> 

Apply for a Promising Practices Award   

Promising Practices Award Certificates

Every year recognizes educators who have implemented unique, specific, and effective character education strategies. Last year awarded 316 Promising Practices to schools, districts, and youth-serving organizations from across the United States as well as from Canada, China, Greece, and Mexico.  

Have you or your colleagues developed and successfully implemented a unique practice?

Apply for a 2015 Promising Practices award starting January 23rd. 
Schools of Character Logo  
Featured Lesson Plan

Social Activism - Get Involved!

This month's featured lesson plan is from Canandaigua Middle School

Connections to’s 11 Principles: Promotes core values (Principles 1, 2, 3)

Connections to Core Values: Responsibility, Caring, and Citizenship

Canandaigua Middle School

This is a three-week lesson administered to 8th graders in small groups. Each group of 8-12 students is led by an advisor and meets every day. In the first week students are introduced to a variety of national and international causes via the website Together, they briefly look at the causes, problems faced, and the need for help. In the next week, students delve deeper into a cause they select as either individuals or in groups. They research the cause and create an action plan to help (suggestions are listed on the website).

Learn more by
downloading Canandaigua Middle School - Social Activism.
Like what you see? Tell a friend about us.
Forward this email to your friend or colleague.

Call for Proposals Now Open!

2015 National Forum on Character Education
Oct. 16-17, 2015. Atlanta, GA

Do you have great ideas on character in classrooms? Are you eager to share your character education experience with others? is looking for educators, researchers and community leaders who would like to present their ideas and best practices for developing young people of good character. If you would like to share your practices at the 2015 National Forum on Character Education, fill out this online form by March 1st to be considered.
Save the Date | Friday September 18
Character Day 2015

Character Day 2015

Last year, millions of people around the world participated in the first #CharacterDay, which was also the global premiere of "The Science of Character" (8 min film). This year will be even better. Five films will be offered (all free) to screen, as well as online and hands-on discussion materials.

If you're involved with a school (teacher, parent, student) or organization, or are an individual, learn more about how you participate in Character Day 2015.
Suggested Reading

Identity Safe Classrooms: Places to Belong and Learn

by Dorothy M. Steele and Becki Cohn-Vargas
Identity Safe Classrooms is an indispensable resource for every school and educator interested in creating a robust and equitable education for all of our nation’s youth. Identity safe classrooms are those in which teachers strive to ensure students that their social identities are an asset rather than a barrier to success in the classroom.  And, through strong positive relationships and opportunities to learn, they feel they are welcomed, supported, and valued as members of the learning community. Learn more >>

Interesting Blog Posts

What is your school doing for others? Reflecting on Service Learning
Posted by Rebecca Bauer,

The Corporation for National and Community Service urges us to consider Martin Luther King Day, “a day on not a day off” and encourages us to use the free time that we have to give back to others. The Day of Service website provides a number of toolkits to help you plan projects for you and your class. To provide some inspiration, I’d like to share the story of Lafayette Township School’s award winning community service day, Branching Out with the Bulls. Read blog >> 

Whose Kids Are These Anyway?
Submitted by Annie Fox, 01/06/2015, HuffPost Education

Bullying prevention begins at home. So does the teaching of respect, compassion and social courage. Read blog >>


OCHO Project
Marilyn Perlyn, frequent presenter at’s Forum has received a grant for her OCHO Project: Read for a Need. She is looking for educators who would like to participate. Selected participants will receive 1000 FREE books for an OCHO Project book fair. Visit their website, and contact Marilyn ( if you are interested in applying for your school. The OCHO Project focuses on character education, literacy, and service. This program is designed in such a way that there is a minimal amount of work for teachers


Selma Speech & Essay Contest
Inspired by the release of Selma, the National Liberty Museum has announced the Selma Speech & Essay Contest to engage US high school students in thinking, writing, and speaking about relevant, current issues of individual freedom and self-determination in the US today. Deadline: Jan. 30, 2015. Learn more >>

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot
With the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery march only two months away, Teaching Tolerance’s new film, "Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot," can help you teach the history and legacy of the young people and teachers who made it happen. Pre-order your FREE copy today! Learn more >>

See grants from Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
, ALA Collaborative School Library Award, and the Henry Ford Foundation. 

Amazon Smile2

Did you know that when you shop on
AmazonSmile (Amazon's charity site)
and select The Character Education
Partnership as your charity, 0.5% of your purchases will go to
Try it today!

Become a Member of

Your membership helps provide the resources for schools, families and communities to develop ethical
citizens committed to building a
just and caring world.

Become a member now >> logo

Facebook Youtube Twitter Instagram 

Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions