In the 1990’s, Character on Track originally known as Sioux Empire Character Counts Coalition was part of a larger program covering most of the state. The local board of directors saw the need for a better program and delivery system that was unique to this area, and in 2015 launched Character on Track. The non-profit character education program is based on Five Marks of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Accountability, Citizenship and Kindness.
CHAMPIONS OF CHARACTER:
Character on Track delivers a big part of its message through our Champions of Character program in 37 area high schools involving over 42,000 students in 120 elementary and middle schools in eastern South Dakota. We are unique in that we utilize High School Champions connected with each local elementary and middle school to serve as role models and deliver our message to the younger students. This is seen as a very effective way to bridge the gap between ideal and reality with students, as they learn a little about the about the older students and how they embody the values they are trying to pass on and explore. They can see it firsthand through the Champions’ experiences and the way they conduct themselves, that the good character values the seniors hold are relevant to their own lives.
YOUTH OF CHARACTER AWARDS:
Character on Track has also created an opportunity for teachers to nominate students in grades
3-12 who have exhibited strong leadership abilities and whose actions both demonstrate and model a continuous commitment to our Five Marks of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Accountability, Citizenship and Kindness by recognizing these students with a Youth of Character Award. By encouraging and recognizing those students that are committed at a young age to setting good values for themselves and living life with integrity, we are teaching them to live by higher standards and to be a positive influence on others.
Understanding the importance of focusing on our youth and what they will become, Character on Track’s priority is making a positive impact on young kids and recognizing their efforts in making good decisions and judgements according to their own sense of what is right and wrong. When children do something good, they tend to feel good about themselves, which further motivates them to give back or help others, boosting their self-confidence and they develop positive feelings and relationships in their lives.
Good character education can provide ground rules for life for adults and young people. It stresses the importance of helping children learn and practice behaviors that reflect universal ethical values to become conscious of the right thing to do.
It is true that the main reason we enroll our children to a school is to learn about academic subjects like math, history, science, and soon on. But these are not the only things that children need to learn if they ever want to become successful in the real world.
Learn more about our program here