I was reading the newspaper the other day and there was an article in the education section that I found interesting. The piece was titled “Building Character Playgrounds”. The elementary school’s theme for the year was “Big World Recess”, and one of their missions was to raise money for playground improvements. The students ran laps as part of a Boosterthon Fun Run and collected $22.000 in pledges, and reached their pledge mark of $15.000. The elementary school has a banner in their gym, that says,” I make a difference at South when I work to Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible.”
The students’ also studied Character Building in regards to the different Character Traits a person can have.
This elementary school has taken the initiative to include character building in their quest to educate their students. I strongly believe that all of our educational institutions, starting with elementary schools,
should include character building as part of their curriculum. Teaching character education can improve academics and help with the prevention of bullying. I believe this will make it possible for our children to grow up to be adults who interact with other students, teachers, coaches, etc. in a responsible and respectful way.
There are many ways to incorporate character development in our schools. When I was in middle
school, a Peer Mediation Program was formed. This program had students act as mediators and Adult Program Directors. The Student Mediators, jobs was to hear the problem that was brought to them and work with the students that were involved to find a common resolution to the problem. Looking back, this was a great learning experience that empowered the students and taught them how to be responsible leaders.
There are numerous ways we can equip our youth with the character traits needed to make a meaningful difference in the world. However, it is very important that we don’t wait until our children are in trouble to start focusing on building their character. As parents we must make the effort to find ways for our young children to be introduced to other children in organized group settings that foster good peer communication. Your child will learn to be comfortable in the setting and begin to broaden their social skills which is a key prerequisite for developing good character traits.
Please share your thoughts . . .