Principal Keith Bryant, Assistant Principal Pam Green and kindergarten teacher Kristin Smith presented “Build Your House Upon the Rock, Brick By Brick” at the conference and accepted the prestigious award on behalf of Carmel.
This was the CEP’s 20th National Forum on Character Education.
“You hear so much about school problems these days that it’s great to focus on schools that work,” said CEP President and CEO Mark Hyatt. “These schools and districts represent the very best of what comprehensive character education looks like, and we are thrilled to recognize their achievements and tell their stories.”
Carmel Elementary was published in the Schools of Character magazine and was noted by the review committee for their Service Learning component, responsive classrooms and positive behavior intervention support. The Service Learning curriculum is both schoolwide and within each grade level.
Some of the projects included making and sending bilingual books to a Peruvian orphanage, sending snacks to the troops, establishing a pen pal relationship with first-graders in Egypt, honoring unsung heroes, distributing over 700 books to the elderly and those in assisted living, and working to raise money and awareness for the Cherokee County Humane Society to save animals in need.
Green and the Positive Behavior committee, co-chaired by Smith, meets monthly to evaluate how the Character Education program is working, making recommendations and adjustments as needed, they said.
The committee consists of a representative from each grade level including specials and a student representative. One of the hallmarks of the Positive Behavior Intervention program is encouraging positive behavior with daily morning meetings where expectations for all are discussed.
Students earn Carmel Coins for positive behavior. The coins are redeemable at the school store each Friday morning for small toys or treats; however, if students want to save their coins, they can also earn things such as Lunch with the Principal, Physical Education/Music/Art/Colts’ Lab helpers and other experiences.
Each year, CEP selects schools and districts that demonstrate through a rigorous evaluation process that their focus on character development has had a positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate.
Selected schools are then expected to serve as models for other schools, helping them to achieve the same results.
Carmel has been partnered with the CEP since 2006 and has been a recipient of their Promising Practices award, most recently in 2013 for working to help the Humane Society. Carmel has received recognition at the Cherokee County School District Board of Education Meeting as well as from the governor.