By: Ashley Winterstein
Once each month you will find a large crowd gathered in the Kent Island Elementary School cafeteria before afternoon dismissal. These excited students, smiling staff, and proud family members are gathered to recognize the selected “Citizens of the Month” at Kent Island Elementary.
This process actually begins at the start of each month as teachers monitor their classrooms for students exemplifying the selected Character Counts! Pillar of the Month (Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, or Citizenship). Each teacher then recommends two or three students to be awarded the “Citizen of the Month” Award at the assembly near the end of the month. Once students are chosen, their parents and family members are secretly invited to attend the ceremony without their child’s awareness.
The October Citizens of the Month were recently recognized on October 28, 2009 for exhibiting traits of Trustworthiness. David Dulac, Principal at Kent Island Elementary School, announced each student’s name individually in front of their peers and a large crowd of supportive family members in the school cafeteria. A group photo was taken of the “Citizens of the Month” for each grade and certificates were awarded, along with a Character Counts! pencil and sticker.
Jeanne Baldwin, Guidance Counselor at Kent Island Elementary School is a strong supporter of character education and helps organize the “Citizen of the Month” assembly each month. She believes that, “Children who develop good character are better students and better citizens of the country.”
As the students were finishing up their snack at the October ceremony, Baldwin took the opportunity to address the parents and family members in attendance. She thanked them for their support and collaboration in developing students with good character.
Baldwin also described the positive impact Character Coaches are having on the students at Kent Island Elementary School. These volunteers spend fifteen minutes each week in the classroom sharing lessons about the Character Counts! Six Pillars of Character – Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
Unfortunately, this year Kent Island Elementary School is in need of nine additional coaches to fill their classrooms. Baldwin asked those in attendance to consider the opportunity and share the idea with friends, colleagues, and family members in order to ensure that the students continue to receive the valuable lessons that will help them throughout their lives.
If you are interested in becoming a Character Coach or would like further information about the Character Counts! program, please contact Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677.
The Character Counts! Advisory Council would like to congratulate the October “Citizens of the Month” and thank the faculty and staff at Kent Island Elementary School for their support of the Character Counts! program!