Juan Pablo Duarte – Jose Julian Marte
Elizabeth, New Jersey
2015 National School of Character
School No. 28 began its character initiative with the hope of bettering its student behavior and community involvement. The fact that we are a focus school was a huge factor in deciding to begin this journey. Initially our school environment was riddled with fights, poor attitudes, and a general lack of respect. Our greatest obstacle has been the community and its low socioeconomic status. On a daily basis our students deal with the language barrier, the pressure to take drugs, join local gangs, and low parent involvement. School No. 28 was built only 8 years ago. While many would think a new school would be a fresh start for the neighbor children, in fact the opposite reaction occurred. Many students were moved from other neighbor schools. They didn’t take ownership in School No. 28 as they initially did not see it as their school. However the students and community were eventually able to be brought on board due to the efforts of our teachers and admins, and after creating more community events and activities; i.e. – various school dances, the school play, parent workshops, etc. The students began to take ownership in their school and display a level of school spirit that had been missing. Suspension rates started to go down as the level of trust between student and teacher started increasing. Our eventual goal is to achieve an increase in values among students, community members, and all faculty members so that we reach 100% attendance with 0% suspension rates.
Bullying Effects Everyone
7th Grade LAL Teacher
25 First St.
Elizabeth New, Jersey 7206