Eric Toot, principal of Beaver Creek Elementary gets the school and community as involved as possible to promote good character. Are your schools doing the same?
In March of 1999, I had the opportunity to interview for a guidance counseling position at Beaver Creek Elementary in Johnston. During this interview, the tour guide pointed out posters with the Six Pillars of Character. I had never heard of CHARACTER COUNTS! or the Pillars prior to this tour, as I was working in a school district in Northeast Iowa.
Thirteen years later, I am currently the principal of Beaver Creek Elementary and am proud of the impact CHARACTER COUNTS! has on our school, district and community. The power of this program is the simplicity and clear language, giving us a common language to use with our students, staff members and families. The Pillars are key components in the classroom rules and procedures collaboratively developed by students and teachers.
To promote good character, we have assemblies to celebrate positive character at our school and invite community members who use the Pillars of Character on a daily basis in their careers and lives. We discuss the importance of citizenship with our students and ask them to do service projects to support others in our community. The CHARACTER COUNTS! language has moved up to our secondary schools and serves as a framework for student and staff expectations as well. The Johnston Alliance for Character Development brings personnel from the school district, business community and service organizations to promote character development throughout Johnston. I doubt that we could have this consistent language and understanding of character without CHARACTER COUNTS! as the framework.