Southwest Early Childhood Center
Jefferson City, Missouri
2015 National School of Character

Southwest ECIn 2010, Cole County adopted the CharacterPlus Initiative and staff attended professional development (PD) with Tina Sohn from Sullivan. She inspired us and gave us the “spark” to bring character education (CE) to the early childhood level in Jefferson City. The Southwest Early Childhood Center (SWECC) team rallied and launched our CE initiative knowing core social and emotional skills are essential to long range success of students.  Since then, we have become pioneers in the field and helped pave the way for character education in early childhood education.  SWECC has doubled in size and provides a full continuum of services for at-risk students through six programs. Our Title 1 Preschool and Infant Toddler students are 100% eligible for free lunch. In Parents As Teachers we see many challenging domestic situations. Families in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) and special needs kindergarten face the stress of a child with a developmental disability. Students in our Elementary Gifted Program (EER) are at unique risk for under-development of skills due to lack of challenge and support. Due to the challenges our students and families come to school with, implementation of our character development initiative is vital to their well being and future success. Our CE journey continues as we evolve as a staff, school, and community. CE is something we live and breathe each and every day.

Lesson Plan
Compassion – Begin Again Backpacks

Lisa Dierking
Family School Advocate
812 St. Mary’s Blvd.
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109