Area schools garner awards for character education
Jamestown Middle and Johnson Street Global Studies, along with three other Guilford County schools, were recognized globally for their character education.
The Character Education Partnership’s Promising Practice Award is awarded to schools that showcase innovative best practices in character education.
Jamestown Middle was recognized for its student-led service-learning clubs, “Service-Learning Quest for Excellence.” Students joined one of 14 service-learning clubs that integrated the core curriculum, character education and the local community.
Teachers representing all grade levels and subjects developed a plan for students to choose from 14 groups that included animal protection and care, elders, emergency readiness, homelessness and poverty, the environment and literacy. Students met once a month in a guided discussion and participated in hand-on projects giving the students a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Johnson Street Global Studies’ project, “Happy Feet Squad Pods” focused on the district’s character traits: responsibility, respect, kindness, courage, integrity, self-discipline and perseverance.
The project is an extension of a well-established running program that has been popular for grades 3-8. This school year, kindergarten through second graders joined the program and were divided into small groups called squad pods. Students were coached by eighth-graders and by volunteers from High Point University.
The six-week program prepared students for a one-mile fun run. As they journaled about their practice sessions, they reflected on the character trait and how they applied or experienced it through their practices. The most powerful aspect of Happy Feet was what students took away as they begin to experience what it takes to be successful at accomplishing something. As they tracked their run times, they were able to see that with effort and perseverance comes improvement.