Top Character Education Programs

So you want to beef up your character education efforts, maybe even head down Character Road to pursue the distinction of State School of Character or National School of Character, but you’re not quite sure where to start? No worries; here is a sampling of the myriad of helpful character education programs, tools and resources out there selected especially with the character educator like you in mind. (, formerly known as the Character Education Partnership, is the national organization behind the State and National Schools of Character distinction. Use their 11 Principles For Effective Character Education as a road map to help move your character building in the right direction. Visit the Promising Practices page to see what schools around the nation are doing to infuse their core values into the very fabric of their climate and culture. Check out the National Schools of Character Lesson Plan Bank to read all about what those schools are doing and bookmark their Blog to read posts from experts and practitioners in the field of Character Development.


Character Counts!

Character Counts! (, the most widely used character-education framework, features the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. The Josephson Institute of Ethics offers Character Development Seminars as well as products to enrich your character education efforts and bring them to life on your walls and in your halls. Visit their Lesson Plan Bank for Six Pillar infusion ideas. Millions of people worldwide unify during the third week of every October to celebrate National Character Counts! Week; won’t you join them this year?


The Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center provides a free resource in a magazine called Teaching Tolerance (; a character educator’s favorite resource is the Classroom Activities page. ( This group is known for its Mix-It-Up Day, an annual event that encourages students to sit somewhere new in the cafeteria to “identify, question, and cross social boundaries,” ie, to meet new friends. Check them out for professional development opportunities as well.

Good Character

Good Character (, a little part of Live Wire Media, offers free character education lesson plans, activities, programs and resources. They also have products for purchase to help enrich and enhance what you’re already doing in your character building. Need help with service learning? They’ve got a link with information for that. Need help with character education in sports? They’ll suit you up. Need help with conflict resolution? Look no further than Live Wire Media. It’s a one-stop shop for your character education needs.


Foundation For A Better Life

Foundation For A Better Life ( shares a mission that is simply powerful: Inspiring people to live good values, seek out positive role models, and live a better life. On their website, you’ll find clips for their motivational core-values commercials, inspirational Pass-It-On billboards, and stories of real-life heroes who are walking the talk by putting their core values into action. You can sign up to receive inspirational quotes by email as well as a set of posters and a DVD for your school at no charge.  


Dr. Michele Borba

Parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba ( is internationally known for her passion and purpose in helping build character in our youth. Award-winning author of twenty two books, Dr. Borba’s most recent release, UnSelfie, is helping caregivers everywhere give our future the “Empathy Advantage” as it makes its trek around the world. Visit her blog for practice ideas for stretching your students’ character muscles.

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Want a few more resources for your character education program integration arsenal?

The Corner on Character (

Pay It Forward (

Ripple Kindness (

Giraffe Project (

Character First Education (

Committee For Children Second Step (

Because I Said I Would (

Kind Spring (

Kids For Peace (

The Virtues Project (


Good character is always just a click away.


Post by: Barbara Gruener