Character education and literacy development are coming together at Newbridge Road Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District. Students are learning to become better citizens while improving their reading, writing, listening, comprehension and conversational skills.
Retooled for the 2016-17 school year, the character education program uses books to convey the message of the monthly positive behavioral traits.
Principal Denise Fisher said that using literature for a character education program is more effective than just talking about a trait, because the students become engaged as they relate to a book’s characters. These books and others will become part of a lending library in her office.
During the first spirit assembly of the school year, Fisher launched the program and introduced the September trait — acceptance. Through “turn and talk” discussions, children share their thoughts with one another and their teachers about the monthly reading selection. Questions such as “What does it mean to be an accepting person?” have students relate the books to their own actions.
Other traits that will be featured this year include responsibility, citizenship, generosity, respect, optimism, cooperation, caring, perseverance and overall character. Teachers can nominate students who embody each month’s characteristic for schoolwide recognition.
“All the traits are part of who we are as a Newbridge Road community, and these are traits that stay with us as people in our hearts,” Ms. Fisher said. “Acceptance is a great way to start the year because we’re all different.”
Using Kathryn Otoshi’s One and “Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch, Newbridge Road School Principal Denise Fisher introduced the September character education trait of acceptance and participated in “turn and talk” discussions with her students.
Photo courtesy of North Bellmore Public Schools