Promising Practices Application
Do you have a specific, unique, and effective character education strategy or program to share with others?

2019 Promising Practices Application NOW Open

Do you have a specific, unique and effective character development strategy others can learn from?

From sports to universities, we now provide an opportunity for more people to continue on their character journey while sharing their best practices. values the opportunity to validate Promising Practices for schools, districts, organizations and sports programs as strategies to implement one or more of the 11 Principles. Once validated, we share those Promising Practices as resources to help others in their character journey. Do you want to have your practice showcased while having an impact across the nation and abroad?

Each recognized practice meets at least one of’s 11 Principles of Character and at least one of 31 sub-topics, such as relationship building, mentoring/Buddies, service learning, or meaningful learning.

ELIGIBILITY: All schools, districts, and youth-serving organizations worldwide are eligible to apply for recognition.

Application Fee: $100 per application.
March 15, 2019

2018 National and International Promising Practices Recipients >>


  • Character limits-Spaces and special characters are included in the character limits. Text that exceeds the character limits will be deleted.
  • While we welcome applications from outside the United States, please note that at this time we only have the ability to evaluate applications written in English. Please respond to the narrative questions in English.
  • You will be asked to upload a photo of your practice in action. Please have a .jpg file ready to upload. If you do not have a photo that represents your practice, you can upload a photo of your school or organization. If your photo includes youth, be sure to follow relevant policies for releasing photos since this photo may appear on’s website, in publications and in the recognition ceremony should your practice be selected.
  • Please note that contact information and overview information entered in this application may appear on’s website and in publications if your practice is selected as a National Promising Practice.
  • You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish until you push the “submit” button at the end of the application. Once an application has been submitted, it cannot be edited. You may, however, create new applications for other practices. A school, district or organization may submit multiple applications for different practices, although no more than two will be selected in a given year.
  • All applicants will be notified with their recognition status by May 20, 2019.

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  • National recognition at’s annual conference, the National Forum on Character.
  • Certificate, suitable for framing, and the opportunity to order a banner for your school

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  • Basic contact and demographic information about you and your school, district or organization and the youth you serve
  • The name of your practice and the principles and topics it fits under
  • A one-sentence and a one-paragraph description of your practice
  • A photo of your practice in action (.jpg file)
  • What is the practice and how have you implemented it in your school/district/organization? [1800 characters max – includes spaces]
  • How does the specific practice contribute to character development? [1200 characters max – includes spaces]
  • What impact is the practice having on youth in your school/district/organization? [1200 characters max – includes spaces]

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  • Clarity/completion of narrative: All sections of the application should be complete and there must be enough detail in the narrative responses for evaluators to judge the effectiveness of the practice.
  • Uniqueness: Although a given practice may be new to a particular school/organization or local area, it may not be unique nationwide (or worldwide). Many wonderful and effective practices (such as mentoring programs, service clubs, or leadership training) are sometimes not selected because they are not unique or there are many such practices submitted for consideration in a given year.
  • Specificity: is looking for distinct programs or practices that may be replicated, not descriptions of a school/or entire character education focus or initiative. Applications that contain descriptions of numerous practices may fail to meet this criteria.
  • 11 Principles: Practices must be in keeping with’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education. For example, for Principle 5, community service projects will not be selected if they do not include the components of service learning (student identification of community needs and leadership, connection to curriculum, and reflection). Similarly, even though “caught being good” or other student recognition programs may be effective or well loved in a given school, is looking for practices that do not excessively single students out for recognition or give students material or extrinsic rewards in order to best satisfy the spirit and intent of Principle 7. Download a FREE Introductory Guide to the 11 Principles of Character.
  • Number of recognized practices per applicant: Schools and districts may receive a maximum of two Promising Practices for practices that focus on organized athletics and two that focus on classroom, curriculum or instructional community practices. (Applications submitted by individual schools within a district are not considered “district” applications. Therefore, a single district may have numerous practices selected in a given year if they are submitted by different schools and perhaps also the central office.)
  • Non-endorsement of specific programs: Because is an umbrella organization for character educators, we are not able to endorse specific curricula or programs. If giving a Promising Practice to an organization or individual for their proprietary program would amount to endorsement of that program, the Promising Practice cannot be selected, regardless of the merits of the program. In addition, the Promising Practices application simply does not allow for a thorough evaluation of a specific program or curriculum. is also interested in the ability of other educators to replicate Promising Practices, which is often not possible with programs or curricula that must be purchased or obtained from a specific organization. Applicants who use specific programs that they have obtained from outside organizations or experts may certainly still apply, but they should be able to demonstrate 1) how they made the program fit the unique needs of their community and 2) impact.

You will be able to create and print a PDF of your application for your records. You will also receive a confirmation e-mail for each application you submit. If you do not receive a confirmation or if you have questions about your application, contact Sheril Morgan at