Although American schools face many daunting challenges, nothing has sounded the crisis alarm more loudly than the violent and senseless deaths of American students and educators. The shocking reality that these events have invaded the training ground of our population has led increasing numbers of Americans to agree that we must integrate character education initiatives into the curriculum of our schools.
The greatest question seems to be how to effectively begin these programs. Experts in the field of character education have stressed that promoting a program with pre-determined character virtures is unwise, and that if they are to be effective, character education initiatives must inspire students, faculty and staff - along with their greater communities - to become invested in the development of these initiatives. Already understaffed and overburdened with work, it is understandable that many educators are less than enthusiastic about having to design a program for each unique school.
So, how will nationwide change ever come? The American Students' Fund has developed a character education program - called Character Revolution 13 (CR13) - that will provide the neccesary unifying element for a nationwide initiative. At the same time, it will provide for the expression of each community's unique values.
- Using the clearly defined boundaries of a public school articulation area, the ASF divides our nation into small manageable segments where students can feel capable of having true impact in their quest to lead.
- Secondly, students in each ASF school will be able to customize their character education initiative to reflect the values and needs of their individual communities.
- Thirdly, as students throughout the United States unite in achieving this historic cause, they will be participants in a national cultural revolution. Student bodies across our nation will collectively lead our country to renewal by leading in the transformation of each singular community.
- Finally, the ASF offers this generation the opportunity to distinguish themselves in American history by uniting to build a national citizenship scholarship endowment. This will ensure that stellar American citizenship - as defined by each diverse community - will forevermore be celebrated and rewarded throughout American schools.
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