In October 2009 our Elementary School Counselor and School Social Worker attended a national character education conference in Washington DC. They came back very excited about the possibilities of strengthening our character education program in the Wautoma Area School District. On April 22nd, 2010 we held our first Character Education Committee meeting. The committee includes representatives from each school, parents and other community members. We have been using the book Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education as a resource and guide to reach our goals. The first step in this process was creating a mission statement for our character education program, which is:
“The Wautoma Area School District Character Education Committee’s mission is to provide students, school district
personnel, parents, and community members with the tools necessary to promote positive foundations for the success of
our children through character education.”
The second step was for the committee to establish a list of character traits that would be universal in each building. After looking at a variety of other schools' character trait lists and other professional resources, we decided on the following seven traits:
Cooperation * Determination * Empathy * Integrity * Leadership * Respect * Responsibility
Each school in the district has defined each of these traits using the vocabulary that fits their school's population.
The third step was for each of the four schools in the district to take these character traits and begin implementing them into the school environment. Each school worked individually on carrying out the character education program in their building.
At this point, the Character Education Committee found it important and necessary to involve the community, and work together as a team to instill positive character values in our youth. The committee presented the program's ideas to both The Rotary Club of Wautoma and The Kiwanis Club of Wautoma to spread the word on character education, as well as share ideas on how these community organizations and businesses can get involved in the character education program. Since then, we have been greatly impressed with the community's involvement, so please check out what's been happening in each of our schools.