Buckets Full of Happiness and Love

by Barbara Gruener The year was 2006; I was desperately looking for a new book, something fresh and engaging, a booster shot of inspiration and love to fortify our character-education program in its infancy. So off to Barnes & Noble I went with no idea that I was about to find not only a book, […]

21 Days of Renewal in ’21

It’s that time again, the perfect opportunity to start over, begin anew, to make those long-overdue changes. What if, instead, we were to take a more compassionate, mind-body-soul approach to renewal this year? No lofty resolutions to break. No outrageous goals you have to hurt yourself to meet.

All Aboard the Citizen Ship

As another election rolls around and we find ourselves navigating the stormy seas of not only a global pandemic but also social unrest and uncertainty, I’m reminded of the importance of modeling and teaching our youngest leaders to be ‘value-able’ citizens.

5 Strategies For Creating Caring Connections

by Barbara Gruener Connection. The act of engaging relationally, of belonging, of finding things that ground us. Connecting is such a strong human need that sometimes we even extend our reach super far, like when I hear that you’re from Alfred, New York, so I mention that I used to room with a girl from […]

Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School

Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School focuses on positive and pro-social attitudes and behaviors that build a respectful and compassionate school environment, while also addressing the tough issues of prejudice, anger, exclusion, and bullying. Through role-playing, perspective-taking, sharing, writing, discussion, and more, students develop the insights and skills they need to accept differences, resolve […]

What’s On Your Plate? Building Character: Lesson 4

Servant Leadership: What’s On Your Plate? When we begin with the end in mind, we can’t help but think about the servant leaders that will come out of our school, value-able citizens who’ll work with intention to make our world a better place. But that won’t happen by chance. How do we feed and nurture […]

What’s On Your Plate? Building Character: Lesson 3

Late author Stephen Covey asked us years ago to begin with the end in mind; once you’ve assessed your needs and you know where you need to go, how are you going to get there? An important way to make your character-education efforts sustainable is to weave them in to the very DNA of your […]

What’s On Your Plate? Building Character: Lesson 2

In our last email, we addressed building relationships, because how we relate to one another matters. But how will we know if our efforts need an upgrade? Are the culture (how we behave at school) and the climate (how your school feels) of our character building in line with our vision and our mission? This […]

What’s On Your Plate? Building Character: Lesson 1

For generations, schools have worked with intention to advance their students’ skills in the 3 Rs {Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic}, commonly revered as the core essentials of a child’s education.   We relied heavily on children coming to school with the 3 Rs of the character kind, things like Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, already in place. […]

A Character Diet: What’s On Your Plate? – Intro

Just as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that we maintain a balanced diet which includes nourishment every day from all five food groups to keep our bodies at maximum health, so is it critical to nourish hearts and minds in our character building by modeling and teaching core values while we feed […]