Character.org Designates 68 Schools 4 Districts as 2016 National Schools of Character

Program developed in 1998 has positively impacted the lives of more than 825,000 students

Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2016)— Character.org, a non-profit organization that supports the advancement of character development in schools, communities and workplaces across the U.S. and globally, today designated 68 schools and four districts from 15 states as National Schools and Districts of Character for 2016.

Since the inception of Character.org’s Schools of Character program’s in 1998 more than 263 schools and 14 districts have been designated as National Schools or Districts of Character, impacting more than 600,000 students’ lives. (A complete list of the 2016 National Schools and Districts of Character is outlined at bottom of this release). In addition, this year, two international schools have applied and will be evaluated for international recognition as a part of a pilot international program once the National Schools of Character have been announced.

Each year, Character.org (formerly The Character Education Partnership) and its state affiliates select schools and districts that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development programs that show positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate. Schools and districts selected in January as State Schools of Character along with those schools who reapplied in their 3-year designation of State School of Character were forwarded to Character.org for consideration for national recognition as National Schools of Character.

Through an in-depth and rigorous evaluation process, these schools were found to be exemplary models of character development. Of the schools named today, one district and 14 schools are former National Schools of Character reapplying for the national designation. Criteria for selection are based on Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, a guide to providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort.

“We are extremely proud of this year’s designated schools and districts for their dedication to character development which has proven to increase the well-being of so many students’ lives across the United States and beyond ,” said Becky Sipos, Character.org’s President & CEO. “These character initiatives create conditions for learning where students are thriving and growing into ethical members of our society. They are developing lifelong skillsets they will leverage well into their adult lives.”

Character.org will honor the designated schools and districts at its 23rd National Forum on Character Education to be held the weekend of October 14-15, 2016, in Washington, DC.

About Character.org: Founded in 1993, Character.org, is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. It works with schools and districts to educate, inspire and empower young people to be ethical and engaged citizens. It is dedicated to developing young people to be both smart and good through the advancement of quality character development in all schools. Results typically include improved academic achievement, a decline in behavioral problems and an increase in an overall positive school climate. Learn more about the Schools of Character program and the National Forum.

See 2016 National Schools of Character list >>


About Character Education: Character education is an educational movement that supports the social, emotional and ethical development of students. It is the proactive effort by schools, districts, communities and states to help students develop important core ethical (recognizing what’s right) and performance (doing what’s right) values such as caring, honesty, diligence, fairness, fortitude, responsibility, grit, creativity, critical thinking and respect for self and others.