By: Ashley Winterstein
The students at Kennard Elementary School have been receiving weekly lessons from their Character Counts! Coaches on the importance of having good character for almost ten years now. Banners displaying the Six Pillars of Character – Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship – hang from the ceiling in the main hallway as an extra reminder and students share character messages with their peers each Wednesday on the morning announcements.
Being the pilot school for the Character Counts! program in Queen Anne’s County, the students, teachers, and staff of Kennard Elementary School are familiar with the ethical values of the program. Susan Davis, Guidance Counselor at Kennard Elementary School, is now encouraging students to demonstrate their good character when they leave the school building as well. She has designed a Bus of the Month Award to “reduce bus referrals to increase safety and to teach students that demonstrating the pillars of character is important on the bus as well.”
Each month, Davis accepts written explanations from bus riders describing things they have done on the bus that exemplified the Character Counts! Pillar of the Month. At the close of each month, Davis reads all the applications, checks for bus referrals, and chooses the Bus of the Month that most followed the chosen Character Counts! Pillar.
For the entire month of March, coaches and students have been focusing on the pillar of Responsibility. Bus rider, Aryelle Miles, nominated her Bus 9808 for March’s Bus of the Month, explaining that she and other riders pick up trash on the bus to show they are responsible. They also follow the bus rules by not moving while the bus is moving. Miles also explained that they are good citizens because they help each other and show they are fair by sharing the toys they bring on the bus.
Davis was impressed by the positive actions of students aboard Bus 9808 and presented them with the Bus of the Month Award for March. The bus riders were invited to Davis’ office to receive donuts for breakfast and given a certificate to be displayed on their bus to remind them of their accomplishment.
The Character Counts! Advisory Council would like to congratulate Bus 9808 for their hard work and dedication to becoming people of character.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the Character Counts! program, please contact Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Character Counts! is a part of the Community Partnerships for Children and Families, our Local Management Board in Queen Anne’s County.