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ERIC Number: EJ792931
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1049-5851
Lessons on Character
Adams, Caralee
Instructor, v116 n5 p28, 30 Jan-Feb 2007
In 1999, things were dismal at Lebanon, Pennsylvania's Harding Elementary School. Many kids in this former coal town started at a disadvantage and never seemed to catch up. They were bored with books about "frogs on logs," says then-new principal Cheryl Champion. Since they were not engaged, they acted out. Harding's classroom life--and its test scores--had to improve. So Champion and her teachers began to look for ways to turn their school around. They had two ambitious aims: to improve literacy and school culture. Those are huge challenges on their own--how could Harding tackle both? Then the light bulb went off. In 2001, Harding teachers began a unique journey, combining lessons on reading with character education. With the help of a grant, they were able to find a reading program that matched these goals. Every class focused on the same themes--friendship, democracy, and individual perspective--using multicultural books, activities, and community service projects. Students who would have never left their hometown raised money for victims of Hurricane Katrina and wrote letters to soldiers overseas, and that was just the beginning. The result? Reading scores have climbed, moving the school from a state warning list to above average. On writing tests, Harding is the second-ranked elementary school in the district. Discipline referrals have been slashed. Thus, what can all people learn from a school that has made such a dramatic turnaround? In this article, the author presents some of the lessons Harding teachers have learned firsthand.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania