Mission, Vision, + Philosophy
To promote character education within the greater community by raising awareness, educating motivating, and facilitating the infusion and development of positive character traits that become lifelong habits.
That every individual and societal group will demonstrate performance character and exemplify good moral character as developed through comprehensive character education.
Purpose and Philosophy
Established in January 2000, the Academy is the central Character Education resource for educators, parents, students, civic groups, governments and businesses in Eastern New York, Western New England, and beyond. The mission of the Academy is to serve groups and individuals by providing its experience, innovative approaches and guidance. In order to accomplish this mission, the Academy has established a variety of projects and programs.
The Academy's goal is to establish a team of "Character Education Champions" in every school building in the region. One Academy function is to disseminate information about its programs and resources directly to these liaisons. Any school which has not yet designated a liaison is urged to complete and return a designation form, available by contacting the Academy at (518) 244-2356 or -2336.
The Transformation Process
The Academy asserts that the goal of a Character Education initiative is to focus upon developing the ethos and culture of the school. There are several phases in the character development process.
- Each adult becomes a teacher functioning as a caregiver, model and mentor to all children and other adults.
- Faculty, staff, students and parents "get on the same page" regarding rules, procedures and consequences.
- Character Education is integrated into the informal and formal curriculum.
- The school moves from individual "islands" of good character to a school culture infused with good character. Character Education is reinforced with positive developmental assets.
- Through communication and interpersonal involvement the Character Education initiative encompasses the entire community.
The Academic Component
The Academy believes in the following Key Avenues for Infusing Character Education into the entire Academic Curriculum:
- Developing critical thinking skills
- Using the examples found in literature and the arts
- Developing teamwork: cooperative learning
- Demonstrating the value of service learning
The Comprehensive Approach
The Academy feels that Being Comprehensive is a necessary element for changing the culture and creating a successful Character Education program. Even the most dedicated and skilled staff needs the support of the real world around them in order to obtain the maximum gains from its efforts. In other words, the entire school personnel (including custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, etc. should be on board) and the parents, local governments, area civic organizations, and businesses need to be supportive and participate in the training.
The Training Decision
When an individual, a school or a community considers involvement in a Character Education initiative the question is posed: "Should we do Character Education Lite or should we do Character Education Right?" The Academy staff is ready to provide any school, government unit, business, civic organization, and/or interested individual with the information expertise and training needed in order to create a Character Education program, which really works. Please contact the Academy to take advantage of these opportunities.