Walter M. Schirra Elementary School
Old Bridge, New Jersey
2015 National School of Character

Walter M. Schirra ElementarySchirra Elementary School’s community is strong in its devotion to the students whether it is staff, parents or community partners. Teachers noticing conflicts arising, usually during lunch and recess, decided it was time to address these concerns through Character Eduction. Our CE program began and is based on the 6 pillars of character from the Character Counts program. The goal of our CE journey is to encourage all to make positive character choices routine rather than only when prompted or reminded. Also, our focus is that no matter how small a gesture, it makes a difference. If we all do something small it will make a huge impact and a better community. When we started CE our focus was to teach the skills and we recognized students who were making a positive influence.  At the beginning, many initiatives were adult driven and we had to decide how to create CE leadership positions for students to take an active role. Over the past few years, our focus has shifted to the intrinsic value of showing good character as opposed to the expectation of a reward. It is described to our students that the reward is feeling good about yourself and helping your community. Through our CE team, parent advisory council, school safety team and community service initiatives, parents, teachers and community members have the ability to share in our CE initiative and provide valuable input and opinions to continually improve our CE program.

Lesson Plan
All Alike But Each Unique

Kristen Todd
School Counselor
1 Awn Street
Old Bridge, New Jersey 8857