Each year, the Virginia-based Character Education Partnership names about 10 schools and one district as “National Schools of Character.” Of the four districts so honored since 2006, three are from Missouri.
Coincidence? Hardly. Missouri has become a national leader in school-based character education.
Much of the state’s work in this area is accomplished through CHARACTERplus, a project of the Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis, an educational service agency. CHARACTERplus is the nation’s largest community-wide initiative in character education and reaches more than 700 schools in over 130 districts throughout Missouri and parts of Illinois.
Through its “Ten Essentials,” CHARACTERplus provides districts with a framework for integrating character education into all aspects of their mission. Services it provides include workshops that focus on character and moral development, service learning, bullying prevention, and sexual harassment prevention and intervention, and an annual Character Education Conference.
This year, the Fox C-6 School District in Arnold, Mo., a member district of CHARACTERplus, was named to the National Schools of Character list, following fellow districts from the Show Me State: Lindbergh School District in St. Louis in 2008 and the Rockwood School District in Eureka in 2006.