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Character Counts!

In an effort to encourage the development of moral character in students, Union Public Schools has incorporated the Character Counts! program into its educational curriculum.

Developed by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, the Character Counts! program is based on six core values, or "Pillars of Character:" respect, responsbility, caring, trustworthiness, fairness and citizenship.

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Since 1996, Union Public Schools has trained teachers, principals and community leaders to incorporate the "Six Pillars of Character" into classroom and extra-curricular activities. While Character Counts! is strongly supported by the administration at Union Public Schools, the specifics of the program are as varied as the creativity of individual teachers. Character Counts! is used across the school district at all grade levels from Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade and takes many forms as appropriate to the age and interest of students.

There is no specific curriculum assigned for the teaching of character. Some activities are school-wide, such as assemblies and award presentations for showing good character, while others take place in the context of classroom discussions regarding current events or storybook characters. Steering committees at each school help coordinate the integration of character into each school’s environment.

Learn more about the Character Counts! Coalition, visit

Pillars of Character

(Emphasized in September)

Treat others with respect, follow the Golden Rule;
Be tolerant of differences;
Use good manners, not bad language;
Be considerate of the feelings of others;
Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone;
Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements.

(Emphasized in October)

Do what you are supposed to do;
Persevere: keep on trying!
Always do your best;
Use self-control;
Be self-disciplined;
Think before you act – consider the consequences;
Be accountable for your choices.

(Emphasized in November and December)

Be kind;
Be compassionate and show you care;
Express gratitude;
Forgive others.

(Emphasized in January and February)

Be honest;
Don’t deceive, cheat or steal;
Be reliable – do what you say you’ll do;
Have the courage to do the right thing;
Build a good reputation;
Be loyal – stand by your family, friends and country.

(Emphasized in March)

Play by the rules;
Take turns and share;
Be open-minded; listen to others;
Don’t take advantage of others;
Don’t blame others carelessly.

(Emphasized in April)

Do your share to make your school and community better;
Stay informed; vote!
Be a good neighbor;
Obey laws and rules;
Respect authority;
Protect the environment.