Character Education News & Updates: January 2019

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January 2019   

Character Education

K-12 Standards Curriculum and Instruction 


Character Matters

Character, Leadership & Service 

How is your school demonstrating Character, Leadership, and Service?


How are your students showing character, leadership and service.  Send photos, videos, articles, websites, etc. to with a brief explanation of an activity or project that exemplifies good character. Selected exemplars will be placed on the Character Matters website. To receive the Character Education Update please sign up here. Character Matters is now on Facebook.  To like and follow our page click here



  • Guilford County Students Give Back With Day of Service 


  • 2019 Promising Practice Applications 
  • The Connecting Communities of Education Stakeholders Conference (CCES): Calling for Proposals for Student Presentations 

  • NYLC Service-Learning Conference 
  • Grant Opportunities 


  • Free Resources To Develop Civically Minded Students from EVERFI 
  • Webinar: Screen Time: Focusing on Universal Screenings to Meet K-12 Students’ Mental Health Needs
  • Start 2019 With Service 
  • Great Kindness Challenge 
  • Free MLK Day Lessons & Activities from Scholastic, CNCS & YSA 

  • Embracing Civic Power 
  • Upcoming Dates 
  • Stay Connected with Character Matters

day of service

Guilford County Students Give Back With Day of Service 


Students at Northern Guilford Middle School are practicing giving back.

The students participated in a Day of Service where they volunteered for half a school day.

They visited nursing homes, went to churches where they helped pack backpacks with food for other students, and  learned about firefighting where giving back is a profession. Other students took part in activities in their school like writing e-books or working on campus beautification.


Robert Richmond, the principal at Northern Elementary School, was so inspired by the middle school students who visited his school that he is now thinking about having a Day of Service at the elementary school!


To learn more watch the video.  

Source: My Fox 8 

2019 Promising Practices Application NOW Open

Do you have a specific, unique and effective character development strategy others can learn from? values the opportunity to validate Promising Practices for schools, districts, organizations and sports programs as strategies to implement one or more of the 11 Principles. Once validated, shares those Promising Practices as resources to help others in their character journey.


Do you want to have your practice showcased while having an impact across the nation and abroad?

Each recognized practice meets at least one of’s 11 Principles of Character and at least one of 31 sub-topics, such as relationship building, mentoring/Buddies, service learning, or meaningful learning.


ELIGIBILITY: All schools, districts, and youth-serving organizations worldwide are eligible to apply for recognition.

Application Fee: $100 per application.
March 15, 2019




The Connecting Communities of Education Stakeholders Conference (CCES): Calling for Proposals for Student Presentations 


March 18-21, 2019
Sheraton Greensboro Hotel & Koury Convention Center

3121 West Gate City Boulevard
Greensboro, NC


We are pleased to announce that the Conference Planning Committee is seeking proposals for student-led presentations for The Connecting Communities of Education Stakeholders Conference (CCES), formerly the Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement (CCSA).


Students will have the opportunity to share some of their classroom experiences, projects, research, service-learning experiences, etc. with state stakeholders at the conference. Though an adult is able to introduce them, student(s) are expected to do all or the majority of the presenting during the 45-minute session. Preference will be given to proposals that address this year's conference theme, "Innovative Pathways to Personalized Learning", as well as highlighting one or more of the four conference goals and pillars.


Proposals must be submitted before January 20, 2019.  If you have any questions about the sessions, please contact or


The concurrent session proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

(1) 45-minutes in length

(2)  presenter’s experience presenting before an adult audience

(3)  alignment to one of the Four Pillars of Personalized Learning

(4)  participant engagement


Access the Proposal Form: 2019 Application


National Service-Learning Conference


Join NYLC in celebrating 30 years of growing youth as leaders! The National Service-Learning Conference highlights and promotes service-learning as a way of teaching and learning that builds academic and citizenship skills while renewing communities.


It is the only major national conference that provides professional development to a diverse audience of K-H educators, administrators, pre-service teacher education staff and faculty, researchers, youth leaders, partners, parents, program coordinators, national service members, community-based organization staff, policy-makers, and corporate and foundation officers.


Service-learning is democracy in action. It’s young people taking notice of inequities where they see them, and taking steps to address them. It’s educators joining in partnership with students, to make education fair and meaningful for all. It’s problems that need solving – environmental justice, economic justice, human rights – solved by those least likely to be asked to solve them, but to whom those solutions matter most.

Join us in action. Create. Demonstrate. Lead. Facilitate. Serve. Organize. Resist. Triumph. Do something. If you dream of a just world like we do, let’s make it happen.


Visit the conference website to learn more about the agenda, logistics, and more. 


Click Here For Registration


Grant Opportunities 

  • Learning To Give Grants: Starting in September 2018, mini-grant applications will be reviewed on the 22nd of each month and awarded throughout the 2018-19 school year until March 22, 2019. Start with a Learning to Give lesson and inspire student action to address a community need. The Learning to Give mini-grants range from $250 to $500 with a simple, yet competitive application process and priority given to those who use social media to share their plans, discuss ideas, and reflect! #LTGMiniGrant #Teach1 Apply Now 
  • Captain Planet Foundation™ invests in high-quality, solution-based programs that embrace STEM learning and empower youth to become local and global environmental change-makers. They're currently offering grants of $500 - $2,500. Apply Now.
  • ClassWish helps teachers and schools attract donations for supplies from local businesses, alumni, and other members of the community. Teachers create a wish list of supplies, and ClassWish helps spread the word to parents and other supporters. Requests may be submitted year-round. Apply Now 


FREE Resources To Develop Civically Minded Students 

In January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day Of Service reminds us to care for and care about each other and our communities. To support students in developing a commitment to serving others, EVERFI offers comprehensive online resources, completely free of cost, including The

Compassion Project and Character Playbook.


The Compassion Project, is the first comprehensive,

no-cost program designed to help educators facilitate lessons around fundamental SEL skills for students in grades 2-4, focusing on the complex but critical skill of compassion.


Character Playbook is an innovative digital course that uses

engaging strategies to educate students about cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships during their critical middle school years. Comprised of six lessons that cover key concepts around positive character development, social-emotional learning (SEL),

and building healthy relationships, Character Playbook allows students to engage with real-world scenarios, including examples of bystander intervention, resolving conflicts, effective communication, and positive relationships.


To learn more about getting started, please contact Peter Kelpin, EVERFI North Carolina Consultant at


Educators are also able to self-start with EVERFI via this link and with this guide!

Screen Time: Focusing on Universal Screenings to Meet K-12 Students’ Mental Health Needs


Assessments, CASE 21, M-class, benchmarks all this testing, oh my. Schools screen students for academic challenges —but what about mental health needs? Universal screenings for mental health assess all students and identify those with the highest needs, allowing school counselors and other mental health specialized instructional support personnel to intervene swiftly and effectively. Join presenters Dr. Jennifer Barrow, NCCU School Counseling Program Coordinator, and Kristen Johnson, Wake County School Psychologist, in this webinar to learn how we can partner to deliver universal mental health screening as a part of school mental health services and a comprehensive school counseling program. Now to be held on Tuesday, January 29th, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM. Contact Cynthia Floyd at with questions.


Register here 

Character Matters

Start 2018 With Service


Get inspired by the many people who stood up for equality and a better world for everyone, and then take action to ensure that everyone enjoys the same rights without fear of discrimination because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or other aspect of their identity. Below are projects and resources to help you take action, learn more and get involved in making the world a more fair and equal place to live:

Project Ideas from Generation On:

Resources from Generation On:

Great Kindness Challenge 

Sign up for The Great Kindness Challenge! This one-week program is centered on a 50 item checklist, which is comprised of kind acts created and performed by youth. The goal is to empower students by cultivating compassion, kindness and empathy in the classroom and beyond. The upcoming challenge is scheduled for January 28-February 1, 2019. 


Practicing simple, regular kind acts nurtures empathy, alters behavior, changes a culture, and transforms lives. Here are 100 simple ways to help children recognize Kindness Power. Print them off and post them on your refrigerator or classroom door. Then encourage your children to add kind deeds to the list. Or even better, brainstorm your own list as a family, class, or group.

Free MLK Day Lessons & Activities from Scholastic, CNCS & YSA


Among Dr. King’s most compelling visions is that of a Beloved Community - a community in which people of different backgrounds recognize that we are all interconnected and that our individual well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of others.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is Monday, January 21, 2019. It is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service - a “day on, not a day off” - and is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to work together to help solve our most pressing problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, bridges barriers, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a Beloved Community.


Start planning your MLK Day of Service by learning about Dr. King's vision and how you can bring his vision to life in your community. Use these free lessons and activities from Scholastic, CNCS, and YSA:


More free resources available at YSA 

Embracing Civic Power 

Check out this great research article on Embracing Civic Power by Eric Liu. Learn how teaching students power literacy means helping them understand the sources of power in civic life.  

Creating a Nation of Kindness

Kids are speaking out about the power of kindness all across the country! In classrooms and after school programs, students are reflecting on kindness in their schools or communities and committing to stand up for others, be inclusive, and make a difference. Join this growing movement and help us reach 600,000 pledges by the end of the year.


Watch this video course and/or download this activity guide to help youth take and reflect on the pledge, do a kind act, and grow their kindness into a service project. Classes, youth groups, families, groups or friends can plan projects together after taking the pledge.


These free downloadable resources and video trainings will guide you as you take your project from idea to action.


Dates To Remember 

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, January 21, 2019   

Stay Connected with Character Matters

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