In order to perpetuate a sense of ownership in shaping the character of our youth, the Heartland Character Education Committee worked in conjunction with the Institute for Global Ethics (IGE), a Heartland Consortium member. With assistance from IGE, the Committee conducted a series of ethics seminars that lead to the development of “shared values.”
There were three parts to the seminars: moral awareness, development of shared values, and tools to analyze and resolve ethical dilemmas. Attendees explored the concept of ethical fitness and the importance of creating a positive atmosphere for family and educational life. More than 25 seminars were held with more than 300 community members attending. In each seminar, the question was asked: If you could post ethical character traits over the door of our school, which traits would you select for the children and educators to model?
The nine traits mentioned most often during the seminars ultimately became featured as the “Words of the Month” for our community. As the “Word of the Month” program gained momentum, three more words were added.
The Character Education Committee of the Heartland Steering Committee determines a theme each year to inspire creativity and new ideas to integrate the words into the curriculum.
Heartland Character Words of the Month
- January - Self-Control
- February - Commitment
- March - Fairness
- April - Moral Courage
- May - Cooperation
- June - Sportsmanship*
- July - Patriotism*
- August - Integrity*
- September - Honesty
- October - Respect
- November - Responsibility
- December - Compassion
*Denotes words added to the program