Together, these six pillars of good character have the potential to change lives...and entire communities.
Children are malleable by nature. That’s why it doesn’t always take much to lead them astray. But a character education initiative, embraced by the entire Kendallville community, provides hope that all children can be led in the right direction.
Character Counts! is a nationwide program with proven success. Administrators, principals, teachers and community leaders across the country have found that the program significantly improves the way kids interact with adults, reduces behavioral problems and truancy, and increases test scores.
Kendallville came on board with Character Counts in mid-October, during a three day workshop attended by dozens of teachers, counselors, principals, librarians and community leaders. What came out of that gathering were clear ideas on how to implement the six pillars of character in our community: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. These core ethical values, when integrated into school curriculums, library programs and community ideals, help everyone focus on good character as part of everything they do. They begin to look at the rewards of good character instead of punishments.
Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal • Be reliable - do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal - stand by your family, friends and country
Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements
Do what you are supposed to do • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act - consider the consequences • Be accountable for your choices
Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly
Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need
Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment
The Kendallville Public Library is doing its part to encourage good character development in children. Character Counts! has a recommended reading list for children and teens based on the six pillars of good character. To learn which books are available at the library, stop by the Children’s and Teen Reference Desks.
In-house library programs, as well as outreach, will revolve around the six pillars. Be sure to look for these important ethical values and what you can do to help your community.
Not only is this program successful in communities across the country, but it’s good enough for the Olympics, too! All Olympic hopefuls must attend the Character Counts! sports program before heading off to represent our country in the games.
To learn more about the Character Counts! program, go to www.charactercounts.org.