By Sam Piha
The idea that we should help young people build strong character traits is not new. It dates back to the origins of youth programs in America in the late 1800s. The importance of character building has seen a resurgence due to the research and literature on non-cognitive/social emotional skills, grit, growth mindsets, and the success of charter schools such as those managed by Kipp and the Harlem Children’s Zone.
We believe that afterschool and summer programs are uniquely positioned to focus on the character building of their youth. All youth programs can celebrate character building by participation in Character Day on September 22, 2016.
Let It Ripple has developed short films for young people and lesson plans for program leaders to support the offering of character building activities on Character Day. They have made participation very easy. You can click here to review their materials, which are suitable for children of all ages.
They have created a “periodic chart” of character traits which includes:
The Learning in Afterschool & Summer (LIAS) project is working to enlist the commitment of youth programs to participate in this important day. LIAS staff will review available materials and assist programs in selecting those that are most appropriate. You can join us by contacting the LIAS project here.
Sam Piha is the founder and principal of Temescal Associates, a consulting group dedicated to building the capacity of leaders and organizations in education and youth development.