Essential-Character-October 2014
Countdown to the Forum
By Rebecca Sipos, President & CEO

Our 21st National Forum on Character Education is approaching, and we can't wait to welcome you to Washington D.C. This year's theme for the Forum is "Beyond Accountability, Inspiring Greatness" because so many teachers feel frustrated by such an overwhelming emphasis on testing and are losing their joy of teaching. Join us at the Forum to be recharged, re-inspired and recommitted to your work as an educator. Here are some day-by-day highlights.

And... stay tuned for a BIG announcement at the Forum this year!

Intelligence plus Character – that is the goal of true education. Register Now for the 2014 Forum on Character Education

Need to find money to attend? Check out our ways to save.

Leveraging Sports to Make Real Cultural Change
By Dr. Dave Keller, Director of Transformation & Program Impact

By now, we've likely all seen the video of NFL running back Ray Rice striking his then-fiancé in a New Jersey elevator, rendering her unconscious. Rice's horrific and indefensible act of domestic violence set off a firestorm of reactions across the nation.

In the days that followed, questions arose about how his team, the Baltimore Ravens, and the NFL handled the situation. Americans quickly learned of other NFL players accused of infractions involving domestic violence, accusations of child abuse, and similar egregious offenses. The NFL's admittedly poor handling of the Rice situation called into question their integrity, credibility, and general competence regarding these troubling issues. Read more

Grove_victory app3 
Sports-themed Promising Practices    

We love to recognize great educators who are doing impactful work in character development. Several of these awarded practices were sports-themed.  Three outstanding examples from 2014 are:

Wylie E. Groves High School in Beverly Hills, MI, created a Victory Day to celebrate partnership and inclusion in sports by inviting students with significant disabilities to pair up with varsity football player and have a "game-day experience."

Alma Schrader Elementary in Cape Girardeau, MO, created a unique opportunity for high school athletes to teach life lessons to district elementary students.

 Read about these award-winning Practices.

Schools of Character Program 
2015 Schools of Character Application Now Open

The Schools of Character application process is a powerful (and free) tool for schools to assess where they are regarding character education, get valuable feedback from experts in the field, and potentially get national recognition for your incredible work.

The application deadline is midnight, December 12, 2014 (EST). We look forward to learning how your school is creating a culture of character. Learn more.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Sheril Morgan, Director, Schools of Character at

Recommended Blogs and Articles

Can Educators Actually Assess a Student's Character?

By Peter Greer
From my work as a superintendent, a headmaster and as the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Education, I found that assessing our students' character was overlooked much of the time. Yet, there are such strong reasons to assess students' character in a more formal way . . . read blog.

Performance Character and How to Foster It
By Eduardo Briceño
Performance character is a set of dispositions that drive effectiveness, such as striving to learn and improve, having self-discipline, and persevering. Read blog.

Helping Students Find Purpose and Appreciation for School
By Maurice Elias
In a popular 2014 article titled, Why You Hate Work, Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath identify four areas that matter most . . . read blog.

NFL PLAY 60 Challenge Program: A Resource for Physical Activity in Schools
Childhood obesity is one of our nation's leading health threats and the prevention of childhood obesity is a critical focus for the American Heart Association. The NFL PLAY 60 Challenge program, a joint program by the American Heart Association and the National Football League is one resource that schools can use to promote physical activity among youth. Learn more.

Character Lab has a $10,000 Teacher Innovation Grant.
7 teachers will receive a $10,000 stipend and additional funding and support to test their ideas for cultivating character in schools. Apply by November 2nd. Learn more.

Using Banned Books to Address Race in Class
by Ashley Lauren Samsa, from Teaching Tolerance
Learn more.

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
Does your school climate make students feel safe, allowing them to thrive academically and socially? Are youth comfortable speaking up if they are being bullied?
See CEP's bullying prevention resources.                           

Calendar Items

The BULLY Project
Adobe will donate $5.00 to The BULLY Project for every tweet that uses the hashtag #AdobeMAX. All you have to do is sign by clicking on the middle “Support with Twitter” button followed by the "Add My Support" button and your Tweet for Good will be automatically generated into the Twittersphere! Learn more.

Character Education for a Challenging Century

October 22--24, 2014 
A Global Conference in Geneva, Switzerland and streamed on the internet (live and on-demand).
This conference will bring together a global, growing community focused on the theme of “Character education for success in life and work” at the International School of Geneva. Join leading educators, policymakers, executives, and spiritual leaders to discuss solutions to the crucial questions:  Which character traits matter most for the 21st century?  And how are they best developed? Learn more.
Join Character Education Partnership
BENEFIT MORE in your quest to strengthen the character education of young people everywhere.  Become a member today >>
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