Madison School adopted the Character Counts! Program in October 1997. The Character Counts! Program is based on the Six Pillars of Character. These are: Trust, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. All classrooms emphasize the Six Pillars Of Character. Read our Character Counts! Pledge:
I pledge to be a person of Good Character.
I will be worthy of TRUST.
I will be RESPECTFUL and RESPONSIBLE.
Doing what I must.
I will always act with FAIRNESS.
I will show that I CARE.
I will be a good CITIZEN and always do my share.
For more information about the program, please visit the Character Counts! web site.
What is Character?
A person of Character ….
- is a good person, someone to look up to and admire
- knows the difference between right and wrong and tries to do what is right
- sets a good example for everyone
- makes the world a better place
- lives according to the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship
The Six Pillars Of Character
Here's how we will learn about the Six Pillars Of Character at Madison School over the coming year:
October - The Month of Respect
RESPECT: Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements
For the month of October, Madison School will be working to teach and instill the meaning and practice of respecting others, promoting a greater understanding of differences in people and to strengthen the values of tolerance, compassion, and respect for others with our students. This will be done through both classroom lessons, discussions, and modeling. The Character Counts Coalition uses the color yellow to symbolize this pillar.
There are 4 key areas pertaining to respect:
- The Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated, be polite and courteous, respect the freedom of others, and respect others’ property.
- Tolerance and Acceptance: respect others who are different from you, listen to the point of view of others and try to understand, and don’t judge people by their outside appearances or other stereotypes.
- Non-violence: solve disagreements and deal with your anger in a peaceful manner, and do not use physical force or hostile language to show anger or get what you want.
- Courtesy: use good manners, be polite and courteous to everyone, and do not hurt others by embarrassing them, putting them down or insulting them.
November and December - The Months of Caring
CARING: Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need
During the months of November and December, we will be teaching the pillar of Caring. This is a natural time of year to focus on the quality of caring for others and the spirit of giving from ones heart. Despite the fact that it is a short month of school, we hope that parents will continue to support and emphasize the qualities of caring with their children over the holiday season and vacation.
The Character Counts Coalition uses the color red to symbolize this pillar.
There are two main ideas that pertain to the pillar of Caring. The first is concern for others. This means that a caring person would show compassion and empathy, be kind, loving and considerate in their actions, be grateful for the things that other people do for them, forgive others for their shortcomings and mistakes, be sensitive to the feelings of others, and are not mean or cruel to others. The second idea is that of charity. This means that a caring person is giving to others of their time, money, support and comfort to help make someone else’s life more comfortable or better and that they would do this without thinking of what or how they will be rewarded for their deeds in return.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - AESOP
January - The Month of Responsibility
RESPONSIBILITY: Do what you are supposed to do • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your choices
During the month of January, we will be teaching the pillar of Responsibility. The Character Counts Coalition uses the color green to symbolize this pillar. The pillar of Responsibility focuses on doing what you are supposed to do, perseverance, always trying your best, using self control, self discipline, thinking before you act and being accountable for your choices. There are two key concepts that responsible people should understand. First, that life is full of choices and second, we are in charge of our choices. Responsible people know the difference between what they have the right to do and what is right to do. It is also important to remember that no choice, is a choice.
“The person who makes success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.” - Cecil B. De Mille
February - The Month of Citizenship
CITIZENSHIP: Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment
During the month of February, we will be teaching the pillar of Citizenship. The Character Counts Coalition uses the color purple to symbolize this pillar. This pillar focuses on everyone doing their share to help their family and communities, being good neighbors, obeying all rules and laws, being cooperative with others, respecting parents and authority figures, protecting the environment, understanding and participating in elections, taking responsibility for oneself, showing sportsmanship and having a positive attitude. Good citizens speak up to make things better, not just complain and be negative. Good citizens are active in their patriotism, not apathetic. We would like the students to begin to search within themselves to find the spirit and determination to be the best they can be, knowing that in doing so, they can benefit the whole community and country.
“The most important political office is that of private citizen.” - Louis Brandeis
March - The Month of Trustworthiness
TRUSTWORTHINESS: Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends and country
During the month of March, we will be teaching the pillar of Trustworthiness. The Character Counts Coalition uses the color blue to symbolize the pillar. The pillar of Trustworthiness focuses on being honest, not being deceitful, stealing or cheating, being reliable- doing what you say you will do, having the courage to do the right thing, building a good reputation, and being loyal to your family, friends, and country. The trait of Trustworthiness is essential to building positive relationships with others. Trustworthy people live by their principles no matter what others say, and they have the courage to do what is right even when it is hard to do or failure might result.
“I hope that I will always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an ‘Honest Man.” - George Washington
April - The Month of Fairness
FAIRNESS: Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly
During the month of April, we will be teaching students about the pillar of Fairness. The color used to symbolize the pillar is orange. Fair people play by the rules, take turns and share, are open-minded and listen to others, don’t take advantage of others, and don’t blame others. Fair people treat all people equally and do not make rush judgements about people. Most people can identify an unfair situation but it is sometimes more difficult to determine a fair course of action. Fair people try to consider the facts with an open mind and then choose an appropriate response.
As Rose Bird said, “ It is easy to be popular. It is not easy to be just.”
May and June - Review of All Pillars
May and June will be months for each class to review the pillars as needed. It will be a time for students to synthesize all the information they have learned in hopes of them applying it to their developing character. The hope is that each student will have begun the process of making and developing their own Code of Character that will drive and direct them in making the daily decisions and choices that they will be facing. This is a process that is never truly over. Each day is another day in the journey of becoming a person of character.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” - Helen Keller