- Politics and Social Issues
Teaching Character to Children
Characters of Character has more to offer than just community visits. Our characters have a meaning behind them, and we want you to know about them. Characters of Character has an extensive character education program (among other products and services) that goes along with our adorable animals. We focus on nine character traits, which you can read about below.
We take pride in our program, and our organization. Characters of Character believes that reaching children at an early age is key to creating a better society for everyone. The younger that the child is introduce to these traits, the easier it becomes for that child to internalize the trait and continue forward with making better decisions, and building character in themselves.
Why our organization works to reach children
~Our organization uses 9 animals to provide children with an outlet to be creative while internalizing core values
~It's nationwide. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to feel confident, understand kindness, and develop emotional and social relationships no matter where they are located, or based on things like race or gender. Every child deserves to feel special, as they should!
~Characters of Character now offers classroom visits for children to meet the Characters in costume. It's another reinforcement for the child to want to use their good character.
~We focus on children pre-k through late elementary. The Characters may not always play an active role in the child's life, but the relationship has already been formed thus allowing them to make better decisions as they continue to grow.
~Children identify easily with the characters
I am Behavior Bear. I help you to make good choices. You are responsible for the choices that you make everyday. When I make the right decision, I feel proud. When I make a wrong choice, I don't feel so good. I feel good when I am well behaved! If you have good behavior then you have CHARACTER!
I am Do'er Duck. I help teach you that if a task seems too hard at first, try again. If it still seems difficult, ask someone for a helping hand. Never give up. If you try it, you can do it! Persevere!
I am Friendship Frog. I remind you that friends are helpful and honest with each other. A real friend cares about how you feel. Friends make friends feel special.
I am Healthy Hippo. I help to remind you that good health is important. Eating a good diet, exercising your body and mind, and saying no to drugs are part of being healthy.
Tune Into Good Character
Our first self-published book, Tune Into Good Character, is a great children's book to introduce each Character and the trait that they represent. Through the use of musical instruments, each Character describes the struggles and achievements that they've had. Makes a great gift idea! We had someone order a copy for each of her grandchildren last Christmas, and they LOVED them.
I am Manners Monkey. I help to remind you to use your good manners in everything that you do. In school, I raise my hand and wait my turn. I always use polite words like 'please' and 'thank you'.
I am Respectful Rabbit. I help teach you to be respectful to yourself and to others. When I show respect to the earth and to the people around me, I am respectful.
Is it worth teaching?
Should character education be taught in schools?
An introduction to Characters of Character
Characters of Character began in 1999 when Joni Downey, creator and founder, was working in a BD/LD classroom as a teaching assistant. In order for the students to relate to the character traits that were being taught Joni created 9 animals to correspond with the traits. This allowed the students to establish a connection with the trait being discussed, such as good manners and appropriate behavior. Joni first saw the impact of her characters when the students in her classroom were able to put on a display for the students throughout the school.
Her students, coming up with the concept on their own, turned their classroom into a jungle as a stage for their play. Although there was help from adults in the process of creating the jungle the students were in charge of performing the skit they had written for the other classrooms. The students had created a play involving 9 core values including perseverance, friendship and respect which they performed in the 'jungle' that was once their classroom. Since seeing the impact that her characters have on children Joni has made it her goal to continue reaching out with her characters by allowing them to make positive changes in the lives of children.
In 2007 Characters of Character was incorporate as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. With the help of donations from people like you, corporations and philanthropies Characters of Character has continued to make an optimistic impact in the lives of children.
I am Responsible Rabbit. I help to teach you that you are responsible for yourself, your school work, and your attitude. I choose to be responsible wherever I go.
We want to know!
Who is your favorite character?
I am Self-Esteem Elephant. I help to build confidence. I have a special talent and it makes me feel proud when I can share it with others.
I am Warm-Hearted Walrus. Just by considering other people's feelings shows that I am kind. It makes me feel happy when I include others while playing with my friends!