Community Involvement

Organizations that help parents and community members who want to get more involved in the character development of their children and the youth of the community. They also provide information for school officials looking to engage families and the whole community in building character in local youth.

America’s Promise Alliance
Founded with Colin Powell as Chairmen and chaired today by Alma Powell, America’s Promise is a cross-sector partnership of groups, including, 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.

Building Community Institute
The Institute, led by EAC member Clifton Taulbert, seeks to engage schools and workplaces in the dynamic process of building community. The team provides trainings and keynotes around the world to schools, organizations, and colleges that build off of Clifton’s work in authoring Eight Habits of the Heart. Details of training and keynote offerings, covering such topics as leadership, diversity, team building, and mentoring, are provided on the website, along with booking information.

Center for Character and Citizenship
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 Social and Character Development
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
Founded by education professor, psychologist and 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.

Center for Character and Social Responsibility
Boston University’s CAEC 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 First
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.

Changing Lives by Mark 1
Mark1 focuses its efforts on developing positive character traits up front in an effort to lessen discipline problems in families, schools and society. To accomplish this goal, Mark1 has developed the Changing Lives program, which is continually updated by a team of educators and annual evaluations. The program includes materials and plans for implementation in K-12 levels. It provides character development resources designed around universally accepted character traits and provides ongoing consultation, training, and professional development to schools and communities. The program consists of 36-week programs for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms, as well as resources for athletic programs, parents and the broader community. Another focus of the organization is to help develop community character clubs.

Character Council of Central Oklahoma
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 Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
The Council is committed to promoting good character qualities that can help bring about a stronger, safer and more unified community. It does this by working within organizations to facilitate positive cultural change. One section of the website is devoted to providing insight into their philosophy of using encouragement and positive reinforcement to help strengthen and grow individuals, families, and communities. The website also provides tools geared towards businesses, educators, faith organizations, and government agencies.

Character Counts in Iowa
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.

Charmm’d Foundation
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.

Connect with Kids
CWK is a multimedia education company focused on improving the social and emotional well-being of children and teens. CWK’s mission is to connect kids with adults, using the power of real stories on video, television and the internet. Resources include DVDs, books and television programs that profile real kids, parents and experts talking about difficult issues like bullying, stress and drugs. The website includes member access to educational and journalistic content, including video, research studies, tips, lesson plans, facts, guidelines and standards. Also look for their newsletter, blog, resources for the classroom, and professional development opportunities.

The Greater Good Science Center
The GGSC, part of the University of California—Berkeley, studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Its scientific initiatives are undertaken by university fellowships. Originally the Center published a print magazine, which has since been transformed into a dynamic, multimedia, online format. The highly interactive website includes hundreds of articles that fuse in-depth practical reporting with inspiring stories of compassion in action, video and podcast series, book reviews, a blog with science-based tips for more joyful kids and happier parents, and a seminar series.

GreatSchools provides a listing of Pre-K – 12 schools and over 800,000 parent ratings and reviews, helping parents make smart school choices. GreatSchools has launched a program to help parents raise college-ready high school graduates, as well as a What Worked series that highlights powerful ways that parents can transform schools by sharing inspiring stories and tips about volunteering, fundraising and building school communities. Parent resource sections include information on bullying, behavior and discipline, social skills, stress management, emotional well-being, academic skills, and learning activities, among others. Interactive community conversations and a blog provide additional resources.

Harvard Graduate School of Education – Making Caring Common Project
Making Caring Common, seeks to help educators, parents, and communities raise children who are caring, respectful, and responsible toward others and their communities. We’re working to make these values live and breathe in the day to day interactions of every school and home. We’re working to make caring common.

Kids of Character
Kids of Character is a nonprofit promoting character development for youth, based in the Lehigh Valley, PA. It inspires youth to become ethical, responsible citizens through creating programs, recognizing individuals who demonstrate good character, and establishing community support. Kids of Character presents at seminars and conferences and advocates for character development with youth and parent organizations, service groups and business leaders. Age-appropriate programs have been developed that consultants can present, or curricula can be purchased to allow staff to present it themselves. The organization holds an annual conference and they can customize a program to fit your needs.

Learn and Serve America
Learn and Serve America encourages service-learning nationwide by providing grants for school-community partnerships; offering training and technical assistance resources; and disseminates research, effective practices, curricula and program models. Service-learning projects make a significant contribution to education, public safety and environmental needs, while engaging students and strengthening community ties. Grants are used to create new programs, replicate existing ones, and provide training. The website provides details on education programs; innovative and community-based programs; an impact study; and a clearinghouse of resources that presents a wealth of information and reference materials.

Learning for Life
Learning for Life develops engaging academic, character, leadership and career-focused programs that enable students to achieve their full potential. The organization has developed an educational program that integrates character development with reading, math, science and social studies. The lessons are grade-appropriate, theme-oriented, research-based plans to enhance and support the core curriculum. A home-school assessment system can help parents focus their instruction to achieve the greatest learning gains for their children. Career-exploring programs provide real-world career experiences for teens through partnerships with businesses, nonprofits and government agencies, along with mentoring, leadership development and community service opportunities.

Louisiana 4-H
Part of Louisiana State University’s Agricultural Center, Louisiana 4-H delivers dynamic and interactive education programs, organizes communities to deal effectively with local youth issues, and provides opportunities for youth to apply what they learn by providing service in their communities. Teens act as both members and volunteers, helping to develop their own leadership skills. The website provides activities and games for kids; program details for teens; resources that are aimed at parents, teachers and volunteers; a section dedicated to character development; and science-related activity ideas.

Maryland Center for Character Education
MCCE at Stevenson University focuses on identifying, celebrating and sharing character development best practices, found throughout the schools in Maryland. It helps to raise awareness, provide a clearinghouse of information for character development initiatives, and foster research and publication of initiatives to assess the educational impact of character education endeavors. The website provides resources for parents, schools, businesses, and community organizations, as well as a newsletter and information on helpful organizations and potential speakers.

Michele Borba
Dr. Borba is an internationally renowned educator, author, and parenting expert. She is a contributor to NBC and often appears on the Today show, while also presenting workshops and keynotes throughout the US and internationally. A member of’s Board of Directors, Dr. Borba’s website showcases her books and articles, provides details on her recent workshop topics, and includes her blog, Reality Check, which focuses on practical solutions to parenting issues.

Midtown Educational Foundation
At MEF, we seek to impact the future of Chicago education by offering high-quality enrichment opportunities for low-income, at-risk, urban students and their parents through our unique, holistic approach to after-school and summertime programs at the Midtown Center for boys and Metro Achievement Center for girls. The Midtown-Metro experience helps Chicago’s underserved kids unlock their potential. The curriculum combines academics, character education and enriching extracurricular opportunities in business, technology, the arts and more.

Million Dollar Machine
Million Dollar Machine provides scientifically-validated life skills training that helps children achieve their personal best in life through lesson plans and assembly programs that promote self-responsibility and motivate children to maintain positive relationships and respect for others. The website provides free downloadable lesson samples, information on school assembly opportunities, educational books and products, and a life skills knowledge base that is made up of a free collection of articles and online resources to supplement lesson plans. The knowledge base provides book recommendations and advice for parents and teachers on a variety of topics.

National School Climate Center
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.

Not in Our School
Not In Our School (NIOS), a project of Not In Our Town, offers solution-based films, online resources, and tools for change to students, teachers and parents who are working to address bullying and create safe, inclusive and accepting climates. NIOS videos, lessons, action guides and campaign materials empower students to be “upstanders” who stand up for themselves and others, and create environments that are free of all forms of intolerance.

Partners Against Hate
Partners Against Hate was started as a project of several nonprofits to provide educational and counteraction strategies for young people and community professionals who interact with them. The program provides blueprints, activities, and tools to help adults teach children not to hate, how to safely use the internet, and how to create programs with their student peers. The website provides several guides and a manual for dealing with hate on the internet. It also provides resources for community and business leaders, educators, law enforcement, parents and families, youth and trainers and a database of hate crimes and state legislation.

Purple America
Our mission is to showcase Americans living the core values that unite us as a nation and to inspire a civil dialogue as we imagine a future for our country based on the common ground of our shared values.

Synergy and Leadership Exchange
SLE, previously known as the Center for Academic Excellence, fosters collaboration, provides resources and celebrates achievement in schools, businesses and communities throughout Minnesota. Members actively advocate and create school cultures that value academic achievement while supporting development of the whole person. The organization publishes a catalog of academic enrichment programs and activities that are endorsed for their effectiveness. It also recognizes outstanding educators, assembles a gathering of champions, provides professional development opportunities, and maintains an event calendar on the website.

The Virtues Project
The Virtues Project is a grassroots global initiative that empowers individuals to live meaningful lives; families to raise compassionate children; educators to foster caring communities; and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics. Personal practices enable us to transform negativity, to discern teachable moments and to set clear boundaries. Parents become mentors helping children to become compassionate, respectful and purposeful. Schools foster academic excellence while creating a culture of caring, along with trust among staff. The website provides information on speakers, workshops, mentoring opportunities, consultation, resources by category, and a virtues shop.

The WiseSkills program teaches youth the traits and principles found in the concept of wisdom. It is an interdisciplinary, teacher-friendly approach that emphasizes modeling, teaching and reinforcing. The program highlights inspiring role models and helps schools reduce behavior problems, increase instructional time and build positive school culture. WiseSkills provides curriculum-integrated activities, character themes, advisory lessons, and resources that can build social-emotional skills and incorporate service-learning. The website features resources for use in classrooms or school-wide, with family, after-school programs, or in the community, as well as a catalog, newsletter, resource document library, and details on training opportunities.