Success Stories : Character Schools

Lots of  True School Success Stories  for you.


Taken mostly from  Center for the 4th & 5th R’s,   Cortland, State University of New York

A 5-Year Plan : Jefferson Junior High

Jefferson Junior High: A 5-Year Plan Jefferson Junior High in Washington, D.C., used to have 12 to 15 girls pregnant each year. In the past few years, there have been almost no student pregnancies. The reduction in student pregnancies is only one improvement that principal Vera White attributes to the school’s character education effort. “Ninety …

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A Class of Character

A Class of Character: “This is Who We Are” Jenna Smith, 3rd-Grade Teacher   I have now been a teacher for 1 year and 126 days.   During college you have these lofty notions of what it’s going to be like: “The kids will love ME because I’ve been working so hard and I want to …

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Bringing Out Every Child's Inner Goodness

The Virtues Project: Bringing Out Every Child’s Inner Goodness  by Linda Kavelin Popov Linda Kavelin Popov is co-founder of The Virtues Project (, author of The Virtues Project Educators’ Guide and co-author of The Family Virtues Guide.        Email: When I was a young mother raising my two boys in rural South Carolina, I was …

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Creating School Families

Creating School “Families” Ellen Semel, elementary principal   Last year I found a 1st grade boy crying in the boys’ bathroom. He had gone there with a buddy, as all our children are instructed to do. However, some older boys had entered and locked him in a stall. Although Nick’s buddy had run for help, …

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Let's Be Courteous, Let's Be Caring

Let’s Be Courteous, Let’s Be Caring Several years ago, Winkelman Elementary School, which serves a diverse community north of Chicago (some children are from welfare families, others come to school in limos), found itself unhappy with student attitudes and behavior. Fights and put-downs among children were common. Students would frequently “smart-off” (“I don’t have to …

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The Difference A Classroom Teacher Makes

The Difference a Classroom Teacher Makes A school wide approach has the greatest potential for impact on the school’s moral culture and students’ values and character. Individual teachers, however, even when they act alone, can and do make a difference. It was mid-November when Debbie Wilcox, just a year out of college, got a call …

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Walking the Talk

“Walking the Talk” At Harris Hill Elementary Marc Nelson, Principal & Fran Palma,  former Walk the Talk Co-Chair   How do you get kids— and everyone else in a school—to “walk the talk”? That’s the biggest challenge in character education.    Most kids, like most adults, know the right thing to do. Actually doing it is …

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