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Schools recognized for building character
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Schools recognized for building character

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Two local elementary schools were recognized for their work in character and civic education last week.

乐动体育Pioneer Elementary School and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School were presented with the Bonner Center’s Character and Civic Education Award during California State University, Fresno’s 32nd annual Conference on Character and Civic Education on March 10.

Twenty-five elementary schools in the Valley were given awards at the conference that showcased their efforts in promoting core ethical values in schools. Each school had to apply for an award.

“We work really hard to develop good character for our students,” said Pioneer Elementary School Principal Sharon Cronk.

She said the school is teaching students how to be academically successful, develop character and values and to be civic minded.

乐动体育In order to apply for the award, the schools had to show how well they build character education.

乐动体育“At Pioneer we believe that we teach behavior as equally as we do academics,” Cronk said.

The school initiated a system called the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) last year designed to teach students appropriate student behavior to create a positive school environment.

乐动体育She said the school frequently tells students to put their “best paws forward” — paws referring to the school's panther mascot — to relay a positive message like walking safe and to not use foul language.

She said students have many opportunities to demonstrate their leadership in civic duties such as the student council, Panther Pals, Character Counts, PBIS, and other clubs and sports.

乐动体育Panther Pals consist of fourth- and fifth-graders who act as mentors to younger students. She said Panther Pals teaches students how to problem solve and give new students a campus tour.

Principal Debra Colvard of MLK said the school also takes part in PBIS where students learn appropriate behavior in and out of the classroom. She said all students go through the training three times a year.

乐动体育Students take on service projects that help the community by writing letters to veterans, collecting cans for the needy and doing crafts for the elderly at senior homes.

乐动体育Colvard said students have many opportunities to show leadership and many choose to do so by joining the drama club. She said students act out bullying scenarios and show students what they can do to help others.

“They help others to speak out when something goes wrong,” Colvard said.

乐动体育Colvard said the staff was excited to be recognized at the character conference last week.

乐动体育“It was wonderful,” Colvard said. “We were able to sit with other schools that were recognized.”

Hanford West High School band director Lisa Butts was one of two teachers scheduled to be honored at the conference. She was unable to attend because of an illness and said she was sad that she missed it.

Dr. Jacques Benninga, director of the Bonner Center, said the conference is the oldest character education conference in the U.S.

乐动体育“The conference is intended to provide student-teachers with a number of important concepts and considerations related to the ethical implications of what teachers do as professional educators and to reinforce for them their vital role as shapers of children’s character,” Benninga said.

The daylong conference was presented by the Kremen School of Education and Human Development and also offered 30 workshops on professional ethics and professional decision-making for students in the teacher education credential programs at Fresno State and Fresno Pacific University.

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