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‘Character Counts’ in TUSD

POSTED February 25, 2011 7:41 p.m.

In recent months, the Turlock Unified School District introduced the Character Counts program on campuses and in the community. The program is being introduced in an effort to improve student and adult interaction, decrease behavior problems and teach a set of universal values so educational focus throughout TUSD can improve.

The foundation of Character Counts, literally called the “six pillars” are the beliefs in respect, trustworthiness, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. In each month of the school year TUSD school sites will focus on one of the six pillars.

Teaming up with TUSD the Turlock Journal will participate in Character Counts each month by highlighting youth who are living and practicing each month’s particular character.

“The goal of Character Counts is to have students, teachers, parents and staff make good, ethical decisions and model their behavior and interactions after the pillars,” said Robin Swartz, co-director of Character Counts for TUSD. “In a few years we will start tracking data to see if Character Counts is making a difference in TUSD, but right now our goal is to get the word out there and let people know we are doing this.”

In addition to highlighting youth who show positive character, the Turlock Journal will publish a list of TUSD recommended reading materials, parental talking points and websites that apply to each month’s pillar of character. The special Character Counts section of the Turlock Journal will be published the last Saturday of each month.

Character Counts is a non-profit nationwide coalition of schools and communities focused on youth character and ethical education. There are currently 850 member organizations and seven million youth and their families involved.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail jmccorkell@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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