Featured School: 2021 State Schools of Character
2021 State Schools of Character
In our role as the State Coordinator for Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana for Character.org’s State School of Character award, we provide evaluators to review applications based on their 11 Principles of Character Education which can be found here.
This year, the Character Council’s team of evaluators included Jacqueline Schmucki, Jill Tomey, Lucy Frontera, and Kausha Mehta. The team reviewed two applications from the state of Ohio, and due to an excess of applications in the state of Texas, our team also evaluated ten applications from that state as well.
Primary Village South, from Centerville, Ohio, was designated a State School of Character on January 25, 2021. Primary Village South is an elementary school close to 2019 National School of Character designee Primary Village North. The evaluation team was impressed with the permeation of character throughout the school’s culture. One of the practices we’d like to highlight from their application is Family Peace Nights. From their application: “During these evenings families make service-related items like blankets for our local homeless shelter, postcards for elderly adults in nursing homes, artwork for Dayton Children’s hospital, thank you letters to our military veteran’s, dog treats for our local dog shelter, canned food items for our local food pantry and birthday bags for homeless children. … Through our service project work, we have a strong partnership between our families, our local community-based organizations, and some of our favorite local /national charities.”
This practice best relates to the key indicators in Principle 10 where families are actively involved in the Character Education effort, and where the school recruits the help of the wider community in Character Education.
Imagine Academy at Sullivant, from Toledo, Ohio, was designated an Honorable Mention School of Character on January 25, 2021. Imagine Academy at Sullivant is a charter school serving grades K-6 with a focus on STEM education. The evaluation team was particularly excited about the student-initiated and student-led social media program on Twitter and Instagram. From their application: “Our newest student endeavor was the inception of a fifth- and sixth-grade student-led Twitter and Instagram accounts. Our Principal and administration supported the idea of students sharing their successes with the school and outside communities. Students use core values and character skills to support their posts, communicating how much they enjoy their experiences at [Imagine Academy at Sullivant] while learning.“
This practice best relates to the key indicators in Principle 9 where students are explicitly involved in leadership roles that contribute to the character initiative.
We hope that by highlighting Character Education practices like these, they not only inspire schools to enact these or similar programs but also to understand the evaluation process for the awards and make it easier for schools to apply. If you are interested in more information on applying for the State School of Character Award or would like to become an evaluator for the awards, please contact Jacqueline Schmucki at 513-973-6984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to be the next featured school? Apply by clicking here. Each school chosen to become a featured school will receive a set of Biggest and Brightest Light books and the curriculum guide or a pair of Doug Coates books, depending on the age group. The Character Council will also work with local media to highlight the practices of the school.
For more information on the 2021 State Schools of Character, download the official Character.org Press Release here.
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What do you think of the Character Education practice above? Do you have any similar programs at your school? How are they the same or different? Comment below!