The award recognized the district’s Character Buddy program to teach essential attributes and social skills necessary for success of their students.
The school district is invited to attend the CEP Forum in Washington, D.C., to be honored for its pioneering effort.
Previously, Centre won the Kansas Schools of Character award for the practice of Character Buddies. On May 3, Superintendent Jerri Kemble, sixth-grade teacher Marci Cain and Character Assembly coordinator Angela Basore attended the awards program at the Brown vs. Board National Historic Site in Topeka.
Winning at the state level qualified Centre for national recognition.
Last August, Centre initiated the Character Buddy Program by pairing a high school student with an elementary-aged student. Thirty-two faculty members were assigned eight buddy pairs. The buddy groups would sit together during monthly assemblies and participate in character-building activities.
Character Buddy activities varied with each assembly to teach students aspects of decent character skills. One session consisted of an Angry Birds Anger Management, which taught methods of staying calm when facing conflict. The ideas were reinforced by a hands-on game involving marshmallows knocking down cup towers.
Another session reviewed Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” via seven corresponding outdoor games. For instance, the habit of “keeping the end goal in mind” was illustrated through a game of ring toss.
A highlight of each assembly was the drawing for character coupon winners. When students were noticed for exhibiting good character behavior, they received a character coupon. Coupons were turned into the office and randomly drawn according to grade level.
The four winners were rewarded with a meal at Al’s Cafe in Lost Springs.
The sixth-grade students played a unique role in reinstating character values to the younger classes. Throughout the year, sixth-graders prepared presentations and visited the elementary classrooms. The sixth- grade students also assisted with a few Buddy assemblies when extra help was needed.
Centre’s winning Character Buddy practice will serve as a model for other schools to integrate into their character-education initiatives.
The program will be shared at the Forum in Washington, D.C., in November and also will be featured in the CEP’s publication newsletter found at: character.org.
The importance of character education has led the Kansas Legislature to mandate that it be taught in every Kansas school.