EC-Header_December 2014

2014 Forum Keynote Videos Now Online

Over 650 educators from all over the world united in our nation’s capital to inspire greatness and pave the path for more schools to teach our young people in mind and in character. Attendees enjoyed, two full days of thought-provoking breakouts and inspiring keynotes, and now you can experience it too.

Mary Gordon 

Barbara Gruener - “Kindness Is The Real Global Warming”

Eduardo Briceño - “Preparing Students to Truly Thrive”

Mary Gordon - “Empathic Children Today Build Civil Societies Tomorrow”

Nicholas Kristof - “A Path Appears”

See all 2014 Forum Keynote videos >>

President's Corner
Lessons from a Sidewalk—the Power of Social Norming
By Becky Sipos, President & CEO
Driving home from work last week, I heard a snippet of a conversation on NPR between author Daniel Pink and Kojo Nnamdi. They were discussing the recent National Geographic show “Crowd Control” that debuted on Nov. 24. While I haven’t seen the show, it sounded interesting.  The show explored some experiments with crowd control, focusing on pedestrian safety.  In one experiment in Washington, DC, researchers marked a section of sidewalk into two lanes—one for pedestrians with cellphones and one for people without cell phones . . Read more >>
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Schools of Character Application

Only 2 days left to finish your Schools of Character application. It is free to do so, but is incredibly valuable through the self-assessment a school does, and from the professional evaluation and feedback through’s evaluators. We look forward to seeing your submitted application.

Deadline is Dec. 12       Tips for Applying >>
High Expectations 
By Dave Keller, Director of Strategic Initiatives 

I hope…  Oh, how I hope... 

I hope the upcoming movie "Unbroken" is a worthy adaptation to Laura Hillenbrand’s incredible 2010 bestselling book by the same title.  So far, the movie trailer looks powerful.  Oh, I hope.

I’m a huge fan of the book, and I’m planning to go see the movie with my family when it is released on Christmas day.  "Unbroken" tells the impossible-but-true story of Louis Zamperini, a troubled youth who eventually becomes an Olympic athlete, WWII airman, airplane crash survivor, and prisoner of war.  Hillenbrand told the story masterfully in the book, and film director Angelina Jolie has publicly stated her desire to ensure the film honors Zamperini and his astonishing story.  Read more >>

 Promising Practices

Promising Practices Application Will Open in January        

Promising Practices awards recognize educators in the United States and elsewhere who have implemented unique, specific, and effective character education strategies. Rather than whole school assessment, looks for a specific practice or aspect of your program that other schools may learn from and even replicate. These practices put one or more of the 11 Principles into action. 

Read more about each of these effective strategies by browsing the Promising Practices.

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Character in the News

From School Administrator Magazine December Issue
Building District Character, School By School
By Kathleen A. Hoeker 
A New Jersey district moves from isolated exemplars to a systemwide focus on improving culture at all sites
Featured article on district character education initiatives, written by Kathleen Hoeker, assistant superintendent of Old Bridge Township Schools in Matawan, NJ, who spoke at our recent Call to Character Gala. The feature includes a side bar on all of the districts that have been recognized as National Districts of Character by (formerly Character Education Partnership). Here’s the link to the digital issue.

The issue also includes the Ethical Educator column with responses from former CEP CEO Mark Hyatt and previous Sandy Award winner, Superintendent Shelley Berman.  See page 10 or download "Sitting the Homeless."

Test Scores Count, But Character Building Rides Alongside
A commentary piece by Alan Borsuk showcasing the success of character education in Wisconsin, noting their National Schools of Character and the efforts of Richard Pieper. Read article >> 
Suggested Reading

CEP blog
Ferguson—How do you teach when hearts are hurting?
While the world is watching Ferguson, disturbed by the violence, disturbed by the grand jury’s ruling, disturbed by the very disparate responses that all seem to be colored by race, I was brought back to my teaching roots and empathized with all of the classroom teachers struggling with how to deal with this issue.
Continue reading >> 

From Edutopia
Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying
By Lisa Curry

Scientific studies prove that kindness has many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. And children need a healthy dose of the warm-and-fuzzies to thrive as healthy, happy, well-rounded individuals. Continue reading >>

Calendar Items

The Call for Character in Britain
This year’s Kevin Ryan Symposium will consist of a joint one-hour presentation and thirty minute Q&A following an introduction by Dean Hardin Coleman and CCSR Faculty Director Steve Ellenwood. Professor James Arthur and Dr. Tom Harrison will examine the theories and practices of character education in Britain as well as the links to service learning and youth social action.

When: Monday, December 15, 2014 | 4:00-6:15 p.m.
Where: BU School of Education | Room 250 | 2 Silber Way | Boston, MA

Learn more >>

 Amazon Smile2
Holiday shopping for character?
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!


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

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