Guest Blog Post on the Upcoming 19th Annual CHARACTERplus National Character Education Conference

CHARACTERplus, celebrating it’s 25th year, is a program of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis. CHARACTERplus works to advance the cause of character education and sustain its impact on the lives of educators and students. CHARACTERplus team members work with educators, students, and organizations like the St. Louis Cardinals* to promote the cause. This year, they are holding their 19th annual national conference on character education. Guest blogger Suzy Ward shares more –

Hi, I am Suzy Ward and am the Conference Coordinator for CHARACTERplus’ Character Education Conference. It is June 17-19th and conveniently located at the St. Charles Convention Center. This is the 19th annual national conference and promises to be our most exciting conference yet! Although it is held in St. Louis, it attracts over 500 people from across the country and even Taiwan. It is a great vacation destination too.

We have international experts in the field of Character Education. We have new keynote presenters like Michele Borba, and Hal Urban is back by popular demand. Plus, we have over 60 breakout sessions to meet your needs from enhancing school climate and culture, intrinsic motivation to service learning. You will hear directly from students, State and National Schools of Character to other Early Childhood through High School educators.

Are you looking for more in-depth training in Bullying Prevention or Character Education and Common Core State Standards? Spend the day at one of our pre-conferences June 17th. Each one is from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the St. Charles Convention Center; this includes lunch and parking at no additional costs. Pre-conferences include:

New Character Education and the Common Core State Standards- Across the nation schools are focused on preparing for the Common Core. You understand its importance, but are you asking yourself: now what? While most associate it with Language Arts and Math, there are many opportunities to integrate Character Education. This session is your opportunity to hear presenters from Kansas, South Carolina and Missouri on how they have integrated these two critical initiatives.  Each state will present then have a panel discussion. They will address College and Career Readiness, Social and Emotional skills, productive persistence skills to curriculum for the 21st century learners.

Bullying Prevention The CHARACTERplus Way– How do you create a culture of allies? How do you respond to bullying actions? This workshop will provide research-based,  field-tested answers to tailor to your own school needs. Presenters Tami Bopp and Diane Stirling have trained and coached educators for more than a decade  in creating cultures that increase belonging, autonomy (student voice) and competence. They have trained adults and worked with students  in bullying prevention. Most recently, they have worked with Stan Davis, author of Schools Where Everyone Belongs. Participants will learn how to assess their culture, build staff to student and peer-to-peer relationships, increase empathy, survey students, listen and respond effectively to what they report anonymously, develop a response team and a rubric-based system of consequences.

As a thank you to those who support character education, including bullying prevention, service learning, and caring school communities, CHARACTERplus would like to invite you to leave a comment at the end of this post on your favorite CHARACTERplus program. Do you promote character education in your school? Are you able to attend the annual conference and its precons? What moves you to be involved?

* Leave a comment; the first 25 to share their thoughts receive 2 tickets to the Monday, April 29th game at Busch Stadium – see the St. Louis Cardinals play the Cincinnati Reds! Be sure when you leave your comment to give your full name and email address (email address only visible to blog administrator / ticket distributor). We’ll let you know how/where to pick up your tickets before the game. One comment per person, please, so we can share  these tickets with as many fans of character education as we can!

29 thoughts on “Guest Blog Post on the Upcoming 19th Annual CHARACTERplus National Character Education Conference

  1. Our school is deeply invested in character education through CharacterPlus. We have learned so much from our workshops through the program, have changed our school climate for the better, and have become a State and National School of Character as a result. Our students are better, more self-aware people.

  2. I would like to echo Steve’s thoughts. I think that character ed is so often overlooked because some don’t see the link between character ed and student achievement. In reality, if you have students who demonstrate excellence in character, the overall learning environment of your school will be enhanced. This certainly leads to higher student achievement.

    1. Well said. The fact that character education starts with conversations among the staff, their collective sense of what their core values mean in action and how they hold each other (gently) accountable is a piece of the hidden foundation of successful character-based schools. The adults are more self-aware too.

  3. At our school, we have embraced the Character Education philosphy. Because of this, students seem happier, calmer, and much more easy going. When students are content, they are more open to learning and trying new things. Our students know how to handle the day to day frustrations that may come up. They know their options and steps for dealing with this, and really the staff, has also been trained and knows how to help these students too. I would agree with Mike that good character promotes a positive learning environment. I am thrilled to be a part of this ongoing change at our school!

  4. Character Education is the foundation for our job as educators. We are teaching our kids how to be successful not only at school but also in life!

  5. I have used the character plus program in my classroom and have found it to be highly beneficial for my students. Education must be about character as well as knowledge.

  6. I have been using character education since I started teaching in 95. IT was a program called PREP Personal responsibility education program. We would focus on one trait to teach and then promote such as honesty, kindness, etc. It really created a community environment.

  7. Our schools promote character education throughout our district. We have schools that have been named the Missouri State Schools of Character! We appreciate the resources and support the CharacterPlus Program provides. We have many people from our district attend and present at the annual summer conference. Thanks for all you do CSD and the CharacterPlus Program! Keep up the great work!

  8. Frontier Middle School has been implementing a Character Education program for a few years now. We have noticed a caring, close-knit community become aware of each other’s needs, serve eacher other, and have a decrease in bullying activity. Student and teachers alike feel very safe at our school.

  9. Character Education has completely changed the way faculty and students view behaviors. It is more meaningful and something that each student can take with them throughout life.

  10. Character Education makes a difference in schools. We need to continue to teach good character traits in school, and we will see a difference in the lives of all children.

  11. Character education programs are essential to creating environments that promote compassion and understanding. My school district continues to focus on creating schools of Character.

  12. Character Education is allowing our students to become learn how to be leaders in our society and has changed the dynamics of my classroom for the better!

  13. Character education teaches children to be responsible, self-disciplined citizens. It provides children the tools to solve conflicts peacefully. My school implements character education in all settings. I believe we are preparing our students to be successful, respectful citizens.

  14. We teach students content, so why not character education? Unfortunately, this is a skill that is sometimes not taught elsewhere. We can’t just expect kids to get it.

  15. Character Education is crucial for students of any age! Our high school developed a student led group to address the issue of bullying. It has been incredible to watch these students lead the charge against bullying!

  16. Young people can only do what they are taught. If we as a family, school, community do not teach our students character somebody else will.


  17. Character Education has become a CRUCIAL part of our success as we opened up a new school three years ago. Our students sense of autonomy, belonging, and competency are at the forefront of all that we do. Students have pride at our school and respect for one another. We are proud to be a SSOC and hoping for National!

  18. We need to always remember to teach the very things we want our children and students to learn. This includes teaching the character traits that will not only benefit them in the classroom and in their lives.

  19. I believe that character education is so very important to our students today. I feel that unfortunately a lot of students come to school without some of these important character traits that will help them to become responsible citizens who are able to function and resolve conflict when it arises in their lives.

  20. Character Education is a great way to teach students how to treat each other with kindess and compassion and to be empathetic to others. It shows students that we care about more than just teaching the subject. We care about them!

  21. Character education is a huge part of our school. Teaching students about character traits prepares them for life beyond school. We are helping our students become respectful, responsible and caring students. Being in special education, character education lessons and activities are a great opportunity for all students to be included in the classroom regardless of their academic abilities.

  22. Character education sets our students up for being responsible citizens and taking responsibility for their own actions. It helps to better prepare them for a successful future.

  23. Well, THANK YOU everyone who submitted a comment on the importance of Character Education and CHARACTERplus. Subtracting the reply from our own Diane Stirling, Heather Price is the 25th commenter to this blog post.

    IF more tickets to the April 29 game become available, we will let future responders know.

    Please keep up reading The Connected Classroom, and be sure to follow CHARACTERplus on Twitter @charplus, and Like them on

    Again, thank you for your support of Character Education!

  24. I developed some lesson plans with the CHARACTERplus crew, and they really know what they’re talking about! I can’t wait to attend their conference this summer!!!

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