| The Counting
on Character Program is intended to help every member of our
community develop better character. It is principally focused on
children, but it is not limited to children. The program will help
parents help their children develop better character. Counting on
Character does not aim to usurp the parent's responsibility for the
moral growth of their child. This program is intended to support parents
in their role as moral educators, not replace them.
Counting on Character provides a common framework that allows parents, teachers, and community members to work together in teaching children shared values. Counting on Character does not seek to teach a specific religious or a narrow cultural idea of good character. Counting on Character teaches only those values that we have universally held in our community. Additional character education is left in the capable hands of parents, where it belongs.
Counting on Character makes no judgments about the cultural beliefs held by different members of our diverse community. It teaches appreciation of our differences, which make us strong. Our community is blessed with great religious and cultural diversity, just as Counting on Character does not make judgments about cultures so it does not deal with religious matters. It leaves religious beliefs to the individual. It seeks neither to advance any of its own, nor to refute the beliefs of members of our community. Counting on Character strictly follows the state requirement that students learn about the religions and cultural values without instructing students in any particular religious perspectives. That is how it complies with relevant state standards and court precedents by being neither religious nor secularist.
By calling on parents, teachers, and other members of our community to teach character by example, Counting on Character is challenging every member of the community to examine their behavior and seek to improve themselves so that they can better serve a models of good character for our community's children.
The combination of adults teaching good character by example and the continuous positive reinforcement provided by us all doing daily Random Acts of Kindness, will allow our community's young people to lead the way toward a better community. By encouraging our entire community to care more about each other, ourselves and what we do Counting on Character will foster improvements in our entire community. If people better themselves, they are better able to contribute to our community and their families.
We encourage each school to create a club called, Character Counts. This club has a single purpose, to reinforce positive character development by practicing Daily Random Acts of Kindness.
Please contact the Yuba County Office of Education for help in forming a local club at:
Yuba County Office of Education
Some schools and teachers have designed their own character education plans to address their students needs in a way more closely tailored to their unique needs. Every teacher is encouraged to modify this program, as needed, in order to make character education successful in his or her classroom and school. The Yuba County Office of Education would be happy to help you in your efforts. All we ask is that you give us your feedback so future versions of our plan can take into account the broadest possible field of experience. Please help us to better help you by forwarding your suggestions, comments, and experiences to us.
If you have items which you feel would enhance Counting on Character, please feel free to send them to: Ric Teagarden, Yuba County Office of Education, 938 14th Street, Marysville, CA 95901
We are deeply indebted to many people for their support of this project and for their permission to reproduce documents included in this workbook. We would like to specifically thank Sutter High School teacher Jill Power-Kruger, Martin Marrazo, Ph.D. of the International Center for Leadership in Education Inc., and the Character Training Institute.
Last Edited: 07/03/00