Three Character Education Awards for Swallow

Three Promising Practices Character Education Awards for Swallow
Posted on 09/09/2020
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Swallow has earned three 2020 Wisconsin Promising Practices in Character Education awards. Ten public schools in five school districts and one private academy qualified for the annual designation made by the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership (WCEP). The Promising Practice Designation provides an opportunity each year for WCEP to identify schools that have developed ongoing activities and programs that incorporate the school's core values and engage students, faculty, staff, and families.

These activities and programs enhance the learning environment and provide models for strong character education that is embedded throughout the school's culture. In schools with effective character education, character is not "taught" as a course; it is incorporated throughout the school and modeled by all school staff. The Promising Practices are not only announced but the Practices shared so others may make use of the idea.

Swallow’s three submissions and awards are for:

  • Connecting Hearts and Hands, which involves inter-generational sharing at the elementary level. A Director of a nursing home first comes to the school to prep children as young as kindergarten about what it means to be elderly. Then senior citizens visit the students at school. Students assist seniors off the bus, guide wheelchairs, share art projects, and read together. Senior citizens share stories and experiences. In the process, students learn empathy. The school reports many students’ families follow up with visits to the nursing home to see their elderly friends during summer.

 

  • Swallow Middle School’s Lead the Way gives students class time to reflect on topics they feel are relevant to contemporary students as well as what they can teach younger children to help them develop character. After a year of weekly character lessons, middle school students are asked to plan and implement a character lesson for a grade of their choice. These lessons are then taught to the younger Swallow students by the middle school students, allowing the middle schoolers the opportunity for moral action through teaching younger students.

 

  • Swallow School District’s Engaging Parents in Character Education and Social Emotional Learning strengthens relationships between school and families along with partnering with parents and community in the character education process. Some of these offerings have included Articles of the Month and Discussion Books where parents, staff, and community members are invited to read the designated articles/book and then come together for an evening discussion. The shared reading has created a common language and understanding around social and emotional learning and has a significant impact on developing character both at home and school.

Wisconsin is one of 30 states participating in the SSOC program. SSOC winners become eligible for the National Schools of Character (NSOC) recognition. For information, visit wicharacter.org.

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