Creating a Caring Community in the Classroom

Character education is the objective to teach young people how to become responsible, caring and contributors to society. Character education is merely bringing out the best in kids. We believe a teacher’s first moral obligation is to provide excellent instruction. It is also teacher’s duty to help students explore humanity and to value it.

“Great teachers form strong relationships with their students and show that they care about them as people. Great teachers are warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring.” – GreatSchools.org

The Kremen School of Education and Human Development’s Bonner Center for Character Education and Citizenship supports educators throughout the Central Valley who provide wholesome environments for children. The Bonner Center promotes character education in the Central Valley through providing nationally recognized speakers for the Fresno area, forums on character education and professional ethics, materials and other professional resources for review, and coordination for a variety of character award programs.

Dr. Jacques Benniga, Director of the Bonner Center and 2012 Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, has dedicated his career to character education. Character.org stated “For more than 25 years, Dr. Benninga has been a major force in promoting quality character education in California and beyond… Dr. Benninga and his colleagues have done groundbreaking work to create professional development opportunities and materials that enable teachers to reflect together on the practical ethical dilemmas they face in their work with students.”

34th Annual Conference on Character and Civic Education

The Kremen School and the Bonner Center host the Annual Conference on Character and Civic Education. It is the longest running character education conference in the U.S. and is designed specifically for students in the teacher education credential programs at both Fresno State and Fresno Pacific University. This conference provides hundreds of student teachers with important concepts and considerations related to the ethical implications of what teachers do as professional educators.

The 34th annual conference was held on March 9 at the Fresno Convention Center. The conference helps reinforce the fact that our student teachers have a vital role in shaping a child’s character. Part of the conference every year is awarding local schools which are exemplary in character education. This year 33 elementary schools were awarded with the Virtues and Character Recognition Award.  

 

View all photos from the conference on Facebook.

William Saroyan Elementary

Recipient of the Virtues and Character Recognition Award, William Saroyan Elementary is an exemplary school which promotes character and civic education.

“It is the moral imperative that we prepare our students to be college, career, and community ready. This means that not only must we equip them with the academic skills to be successful, but we also must partner with our parents and community to provide them with character and civic virtues that will enable them to contribute back to their community and the world.” – William Saroyan Elementary

William Saroyan Elementary takes many steps to promoting character education. They have a slogan, Stallion Students are RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE, READY, and SAFE! (Triple R-S), which is a series of expectations for the students. Students are aware of the Triple R-S because it is embedded into almost everything that they do. From signs throughout the school, to daily reminders on the morning announcements, all the way to staff embedding the concept of how to be a productive, contributing member of society in the lessons and daily interactions. The Triple R-S is a key tool for William Saroyan Elementary.

Peace Path
Peace Path

William Saroyan Elementary also provides a Peace Path for its students. “When students are not demonstrating respect we have the Peace Path for them to use. This Peace Path is a tool used for students to be able to express to another student what is upsetting them or how they feel. The students are both given an opportunity uninterrupted to express themselves and to solve the concerns.” – William Saroyan Elementary

Another key element to the elementary school’s successful promotion of character education is their involvement of parents and the community. They offer classes for the parents to learn about parenting skills and there is a Parent Faculty Club which organizes community events for the students and families to contribute to the community.

From their Triple R-S slogan, to the Peace Path to parent and community involvement, William Saroyan is a prime example of what a school can do to promote character education.

33 Elementary Schools Receive the Virtues and Character Recognition Award

Biola-Pershing Elementary School
Central Unified School District

Cedarwood Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

Clay Elementary School
Clay Joint School District

Clovis Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

Cole Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

Dailey Elementary Charter School
Fresno Unified Board of Trustees

Eric White Elementary School
Selma Unified School District

Fairmont Elementary School
Sanger Unified School District

Frontier Elementary School
Pioneer Union Elementary School District

Gettysburg Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

Hanh Phan Tilley Elementary School
Central Unified School District

Jackson Elementary School
Sanger Unified School District

James K. Polk Elementary School
Central Unified School District

Jefferson Elementary School
Sanger Unified School District

Liberty Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

Lincoln Elementary School
Kingsburg Elementary Charter School District

Lincoln Elementary School
Sanger Unified School District

Lone Star Elementary School
Sanger Unified School District

Madison Elementary School
Sanger Unified School District

Madison Elementary School
Central Unified School District

Maple Creek Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

McKinley Elementary School
Central Unified School District

Pinedale Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

Quail Lake Environmental Charter School
Sanger Unified School District

River Bluff Elementary School
Central Unified School District

Sanger Academy Charter School
Sanger Unified School District

Starr Elementary School
Fresno Unified School District

Sundale Elementary School
Sundale Union Elementary School District

Teague Elementary School
Central Unified School District

Valley Oak Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

Virginia R. Boris Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

Weldon Elementary School
Clovis Unified School District

William Saroyan Elementary School
Central Unified School District

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