Elementary students celebrate character
Published: Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Custer students will be busy with a celebration of character next week when “Character Counts,” a nationally recognized program, kicks off.
Bradley Keizer, SDSU 4-H and youth program advisor, has introduced the program to after school programs in Iowa, to the Boys & Girls Club in Hot Springs, YMCA Kidstop programs and through the Custer County 4-H group. The program is brought to Custer schools through the South Dakota State University Extension office.
“The impacts and benefits are endless with character education,” Keizer said. “This is truly one of my favorite programs to work with. I’m very pleased that the Custer Elementary School has taken such an interest.”
A group of elementary students, mentored by physical education teacher Joey Kortemeyer, have planned and will lead activities throughout the week, which include a collaboration between older grade levels working with younger students to complete projects. The Character Counts program, which runs all next week, will also coincide with Red Ribbon Day, which promotes good and safe choices.
“At the after school programs, I generally encourage kids to be TeRRiFiCC (trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring and good citizens),” Keizer said.
On Monday, students are encouraged to wear blue and talk about one of the six pillars of character, trustworthiness. Students will also participate in activities utilizing the school’s popular “wall of trust” to emphasize the character trait.
On Tuesday, students will wear yellow to signify respect and the Golden Rule and on Wednesday, students will wear green, which represents responsibly. The message of the day is, “I can only control me.”
On Thursday, the pillar of character will be caring. Students will wear red, which ties in for supporting Red Ribbon Day. Later that day, Keizer will present the students responsible for coordinating the week’s events with a certificate in front of their peers.
The week will end with an assembly, where the choir will perform the song, “The Golden Rule.” There will also be an appearance of the sixth grade band and drum line and students are encouraged to write something “PAWSitive” on the giant sticky note wall about the school, students, teachers and staff.
“Going along with our counseling theme of ‘Reach for the Stars,’ there will be an ‘Our STAR Qualities’ project that will fill a giant star with smaller stars writing positive comments on the individual stars,” Keizer said.
Two high school athletes will also be selected to represent Custer High School as “Hometown Heroes of Character” to work with Keizer on a presentation to fourth grade classes about what it means to be a person of character.
The Character Counts program and activities can be made available for any age youth organization or group throughout the year. For more information, contact Brad Keizer at the Custer County Extension Office 673-4971.
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