Encouraging and Implementing Character Education
These organizations focus on fostering character development through character education, service-learning, civic education, social-emotional learning and similar initiatives. Their websites offer resources on the importance of these educational strategies and information on how to encourage these efforts in your local school.
Academy for Character Education click for details
The Academy helps to foster character traits, primarily through school curriculum materials, but also by reaching out to the larger community. The Academy provides training institutes, in-service days, leadership training for students, and other specialized programs.
Association for Moral Education click for details
AME provides a forum for professionals interested in the moral dimensions of educational theory and practices. It is dedicated to fostering communication, cooperation, training, curriculum development, and research to link moral theory with educational practice.
Center for Character and Citizenship click for details
The Center generates and disseminates knowledge and research about how individuals develop moral and civic character. It also provides scholars, educators, and organizations with the tools they need to contribute to this development, such as consulting and professional development opportunities, certification with CHARACTERplus, a leadership academy in character education, and a summer institute. The website provides research reports, opportunities to learn about the latest grants and projects, videos, interviews with experts in the field, and resources designed for parents.
Center for Leadership and Ethics click for details
To help foster the growth of character, the Center provides research and assessment; identification of values and character attributes; analysis of “courses of action” available to effect change or sustain and nurture ethical practices; and design of programs based on mission, standards and resources.
Center for Social and Character Development click for details
CSCD has been established at Rutgers University to provide guidance, networking and evaluation services for educators, parents and community members in order to help them ensure that children are nurtured in safe and caring school environments guided by agreed-upon core ethical values. The website contains a variety of resources, including best practices, lesson plans, professional development opportunities, research, resources targeted to parents, and a set of guideposts with a quiz to check how your program is progressing.
Center for the 4th and 5th Rs click for details
Founded by education professor, psychologist and CEP Board member Dr. Thomas Lickona, the Center is a part of the State University of New York at Cortland and aims to promote the development of moral and performance character in schools, families, and communities. The Center co-sponsors the Smart & Good School initiative, which includes free resources, a quarterly newsletter of best practices, and a research report; offers assessment instruments and other character education resources, such as books, articles, Spanish-language materials, classroom strategies, and parenting resources; and provides presentations and seminars for educators and parents.
Boston University’s CCSR click for details
Serves as a resource for administrators, teachers and parents as they seek to fulfill their responsibilities as moral educators; fosters research initiatives and publications on moral and character education; educates teachers by providing an intellectual framework; and stimulates the national dialogue on moral education issues. The Center provides curriculum resources, publications, professional development, and consulting services, as well as resources for parents and students.
Character Council of Central Oklahoma click for details
The Character Council educates, equips and empowers others to create a culture of good character in central Oklahoma, enabling the area to become a model community of good character. It includes committees responsive to the needs of seven sectors within the community: family, faith organizations, education, business, government, law enforcement, and communications. Families can find resources for strengthening family harmony. Schools can find tools to aid in converting the school environment into a culture of good character. Businesses can find solutions for developing employees to help them reach their full potential.
Character Counts! click for details
Character Counts! provides a powerful means to advance curricular and behavioral goals through a framework centered on basic values called the six pillars of character. The national office offers training programs, free e-newsletters, resources, products, and free consultation. The website provides more information on character development seminars; in-service trainings; support materials such as lesson plans, books and videos; posters, banners, stickers and other rewards; newsletters; and purchasing materials. There is also information on the bi-annual survey that gauges the ethics of American youth, as well as other survey instruments available.
Character Counts in Iowa click for details
Character Counts in Iowa focuses on recognizing, enhancing, and sustaining the positive qualities of Iowans in order to promote civility through character development. The organization is housed at Drake University and maintains statewide partnerships that allow it to support character development in families, communities (including athletics programs), workplaces and schools. The website provides a free parents guide, resource library, blog, merchandise, calendar of events, and information on workshops, training, speakers, and various awards programs.
Character Development Center click for details
Part of the University of San Diego, the CDC serves a variety of stakeholders who participate in the character development of youth and it helps to promote the development of life skills necessary for a productive personal and social life. The Center offers an online certificate program for educators to become certified character educators, as well as publications, an annual conference, and resource files of programs, projects, units and lesson plans. The Center also runs an essay contest to encourage insightful discussions and reflections by students.
Character Development Group click for details
Character Development Group provides staff development resources, including Dr. Phil Vincent’s Character Education Series of books, curricula, and workshops. The company also publishes materials from other leading character education experts. The website provides information on numerous publications used extensively in schools throughout the U.S., as well as workshop, conference, and keynote presentation opportunities.
Character First click for details
Character First started out as a program at a manufacturing company and has since spread around the U.S. and the world, helping individuals, corporations, government agencies, and families to build better workplaces and communities. Their materials describe good character and talk about the attitudes a person needs in order to improve relationships and make ethical choices, and they have formed a leadership development program that can be accessed through training seminars, workshops, books, magazines, curriculum, and e-mail. The website includes a store for purchasing materials and an online member library of resources.
CHARACTERplus click for details
CHARACTERplus offers membership in a collective that believes in a powerful process that transforms school climate through a comprehensive school improvement process, resulting in positive changes in pro-social behavior and increases in student achievement. Members have access to latest research, best practices, training modules, climate survey tools and regular networking. The organization provides a speaker series, monthly meetings, an annual conference, scholarship opportunities, community collaborations, the Leadership Academy in Character Education, and monthly public service announcements highlighting character traits. The website provides lesson plans, a monthly e-newsletter, research results, award details and information on becoming certified in character education.
Charmm’d Foundation click for details
The Charmm’d Foundation provides opportunities for adults to build a community culture of positive character through self-reflection, learning and practicing social skills, and building relationships. Their resources are tailored to businesses, community, parents, and educators, and the website provides free resources, research papers, articles, reports, and other information for each audience.
Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning click for details
CASEL supports district-wide social-emotional learning (SEL) programs; conducts research and evaluation; works with program providers to strengthen their capacity as they respond to growing demand; develops tools to support SEL on a national scale; advances state-of-the-art assessment; develops clear, powerful messages and strategic communications about SEL and its impact; and advocates for federal and state legislation. The website provides information on publications such as an implementation guide, a searchable database of resources, training, and SEL assessment resources.
Community of Caring click for details
Community of Caring is built around core values that empower young people to be responsible, caring members of the community. This school-wide K-12 program weaves core values into every aspect of school life and the existing curriculum. The program fosters character and citizenship development; improves attendance and academic performance; improves school climate and creates a caring school community; creates safer school environments by preventing bullying and other forms of violence; and reduces tobacco, drug and alcohol use. The website offers information on professional development, teacher resources, the annual conference and newsletters.
Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation click for details
Beyond supporting the Medal of Honor recipients and their exclusive Society, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation is dedicated to educating the broader U.S. public about the meaning of the Medal of Honor today, and the exemplary values of courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism embodied by those who have received this prestigious Medal.
The Ethical Literacy Learning Community click for details
The Foundation for Character Development click for details
The Foundation supports educators by engaging community and business leaders to be more intentional in modeling ethical behavior and positive character traits. It provides leadership in sustaining a character education training academy, mobilizes comprehensive community-wide support for effective practices, facilitates integration of these practices within all sectors of the community, and promotes evaluation and research. The website provides details on the SSOC process as it relates to Colorado schools as well as information on the framework that the Foundation advocates for.
Global Peace Foundation click for details
Global Peace Education works with educators and changemakers around the world, at the grassroots, national, and global levels, to ensure that students graduate ready to succeed in all aspects of life and in the 21st century.
Institute for Excellence and Ethics click for details
IEE is a nonprofit offering research-based knowledge, tools and strategies for shaping an intentional culture of excellence and ethics. They partner with schools, organizations, and families to accomplish this mission through workshops, academies, teaching resources, assessment and consulting services, and classroom curriculum materials. The Culture of Excellence and Ethics Assessment process is explained on the website, including pricing and administration details, theory and research information, and online samples. The website also includes a calendar of upcoming workshops and keynotes, student impact evaluations, research, and curriculum details with a free trial.
Mindset Works click for details
When students and educators have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed. Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter. Based on years of research by Stanford University’s Dr. Dweck, Lisa Blackwell Ph.D., and their colleagues, we know that students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school, better grades, and higher test scores.
National Service-Learning Partnership click for details
The Partnership is a national network dedicated to advancing service-learning. It concentrates on strengthening the impact of service-learning on learning and development, while also advocating for service-learning in federal policy. The Partnership supports members by sharing resources, organizing change, sponsoring innovation and providing training. The website provides service-learning tools, resources and best practices; a marketplace for professional services; monthly updates with news, resources and opportunities to take action; resources for beginners; curricula, assessment tools and lesson plans; information on aligning service-learning with academic standards; strategies for collaborating with community organizations; and a variety of publications.
National Youth Leadership Council click for details
NYLC is at the forefront of the movement to link youth, educators, and communities through service-learning. The annual conference draws thousands of service-learning practitioners and the research NYLC publishes is transforming the field and influencing public policy. NYLC fosters commitment to engaged learning characterized by academic rigor, civic engagement and character development. To involve youth directly, NYLC maintains an advisory council of teens. The website provides details on awards; an ongoing national study; a service-learning certificate program; an annual institute exploring urban service-learning; publications; newsletters; and a resource library where you can save files and submit practices.
Ohio Partners in Character Education click for details
OPCE promotes and facilitates the development and implementation of character education program in Ohio schools and communities through professional development workshops, advocacy, a statewide character network, partnerships and various programs. Through a variety of grants through state and federal departments of education, OPCE has implemented programs in communities around the state to develop character strengths in all students. The website provides information on an annual conference and a compiled list of resources, both within Ohio and nation-wide.
The School for Ethical Education click for details
SEE promotes comprehensive ethics and character education, based in research of the character education movement and CEP’s 11 Principles. Through workshops and student programs, SEE covers strategic planning, implementation and evaluation. SEE offers strategies that advance caring classroom communities, support academic integrity, integrate core values into academic lessons, support conflict resolution, and measure effectiveness. Their academic integrity program includes a research-based survey instrument. Students can join a service-learning youth leadership group that runs a website on career choices and post-secondary options. The website provides details on workshops and college-credit courses, a character education bibliography, reflection activities and a newsletter.
The Virtues Project click for details
The Virtues Project began with an idea — that all children are born with the virtues in potential, and that when parents and educators awaken these gifts of character, we can change the world.
Wisconsin Character Education Partnership click for details
Wisconsin Character Education Partnership promotes an intentional, proactive effort to instill in students core universal values such as integrity, fairness, responsibility and respect. The organization encourages a self-sustaining culture; promotes training in character education and leadership; builds a platform to encourage collaboration; and works with leaders to support the development of caring and responsible citizens. A leadership academy helps school leaders deepen their understanding of character education and integrate it into every aspect of the student experience. The website provides details on an annual conference and a Call to Character, videos and news.
Advocating for Education
These organizations are advocating for education policy on both the state and federal levels. While each one promotes its particular goals, they are encouraging legislation that fosters some aspect of character education.
America’s Promise Alliance click for details
Founded with Colin Powell as Chairmen and chaired today by Alma Powell, America’s Promise is a cross-sector partnership of groups, including CEP, that are passionate about improving lives and changing outcomes for children. One initiative focuses on mobilizing Americans to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. Several initiatives focus on action taken at the community level to improve the well-being of young people across the nation. Check out the Gallup Student Poll, which is a breakthrough measurement of the thoughts, feelings and needs of America’s young people.
ASCD click for details
CEP is a member of ASCD, an educational leadership association dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. ASCD publishes books, magazines and newsletters and provides professional development opportunities such as conferences, on-site staff development and webinars. Several notable programs include a focus on Healthy School Communities and the Whole Child initiative. ASCD also advocates for issues affecting learning and teaching to ensure each child has access to educational excellence and equity. Their website includes an online community, membership details, research on a variety of topics, a blog roll, and job postings.
The Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies click for details
Located at George Washington University, the Institute is dedicated to finding constructive solutions to social problems through morally informed policy analysis and dialogue. Through research papers and publications, the Institute brings the best scholarship and analysis to bear on policy issues affecting family, schools, and society as a whole. It aims to contribute to effective solutions through careful discussion of alternative policies and competing models of social conduct, in light of their moral and practical consequences for families and communities. The website contains academic publications and reviews, a blog, a bibliography and a multimedia page.
National Center for Youth Issues click for details
NCYI promotes healthy living in all areas of life, aiming to uphold sound virtues as a model for youth and to illuminate the benefits of making positive choices. The Center develops curricula, training and support services to advance the psychosocial, physical, and life-skill capacities of today’s youth. It also identifies trends and research in youth issues; offers conferences and on-site consulting; publicizes video and print resources addressing specific youth issues; and advocates for youth issues in the media, government and general public. The website provides free downloads and pre-packaged resources emphasizing particular areas of development.
National School Climate Center click for details
NSCC promotes positive school climate by helping schools integrate social-emotional learning with academics, thereby enhancing student performance and engagement and reducing violence and bullying. The Center translates research into practice by establishing relevant programs and services that support a model for whole school improvement. NSCC advocates for school climate transformation; conducts research initiatives; provides professional development and consultation; organizes a summer institute; works with higher education and state education departments to incorporate school climate measures. The website provides a newsletter; blog; research; upcoming workshops, keynotes and institutes; the comprehensive school climate measurement tool; and resources for parents.
Operation Respect click for details
OR aims to assure each child a respectful climate of learning where academic and social development can take place free of bullying, ridicule and violence. Founded by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary, the organization disseminates resources such as the free Don’t Laugh at Me program, which uses inspiring music, video and curriculum guides to promote peaceful conflict resolution. OR also offers assembly programs and training. Check out their website for events, videos, a newsletter, resources for parents, and information on United Voices for Education, a coalition of organizations dedicated to excellence in education for all children.
Texas Elementary Principals & Supervisors Association click for details
TEPSA is committed to providing quality education for all Texas elementary and middle school students. The organization provides leadership training, networking opportunities, and support for school leaders; advocates to improve the quality of childhood, public education and principals; and aims to increase respect and prestige of principals. The website lists job and volunteer opportunities, upcoming conferences and trainings, news and updates, and provides details on their student council program. You can also find publications and tools covering a variety of important topics, such as culture and communication, student learning, programs and leadership.
U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Supportive Schools News Bulletin click for details
If you are interested in receiving prevention education information and opportunities, you are now able to self-enroll to receive this newsletter. The purpose of the listserv is to provide a timely information outlet for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools and is now available to the public. Content may include information on prevention education issues, legislation, and OSDFS, and other federal grant opportunities.