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Curriculum and Resources
The organizations listed here are just a sampling to try to help you find what some available resources. Be sure to check our Related Organizations page, as many of our partners provide materials as well.

Curriculum Materials

These resources range from individual lesson plans or activity ideas to fully developed curricula, each fostering character development. While CEP does not endorse any specific products, these tools may be great resources to add to your school-wide character education initiatives.
see curriculum materials

Bonner Center for Character Education
The Bonner Center supports educators who provide wholesome environments for children. The center provides curriculum materials, character education ideas for elementary and middle schools, relevant research, and a book collection.

Building Character in Youth
The site includes free downloads, programs and resources for helping youth develop character and improve academic achievement, a Character Spotlight recognizing unusual acts of character, and advice on identifying the unique challenges and opportunities of your own situation.

Building Community Institute
The Institute seeks to engage schools and workplaces in the dynamic process of building community. The team provides trainings and keynotes around the world to schools, organizations, and colleges that build off of Clifton’s work in authoring Eight Habits of the Heart.

Changing Lives by Mark 1
Mark1 focuses on developing positive character traits in an effort to lessen discipline problems in families, schools and society. They have developed the Changing Lives program, which is continually updated by a team of educators.

Character Development and Leadership
Dr. Joe Hodel authored this research-based curriculum and its accompanying textbook, which is designed to improve character and leadership traits among high school, middle school and alternative school students. Whether used as a stand-alone course or integrated into other core classes, the focus is on highlighting role models who exemplify the different character traits covered in the curriculum.

Coalition of Essential Schools
CES is committed to creating and sustaining personalized, equitable, and intellectually challenging schools by working with educators to support and promote innovative and effective teaching that fostering continuous improvement and powerful professional learning communities.

Collaboration for Ethical Education
The Collaboration, part of the University of Notre Dame, builds ethical community and character by fostering scholarship and developing resources for education, sports, and media. Four main areas encompass analysis of media for ethical messaging, school curriculum development, fostering sportsmanship, and development of partnerships with other campus programs.

Committee for Children
Committee for Children is a global nonprofit working to prevent bullying, violence and child abuse through social-emotional learning programs that teach kids how to stay safe, how to manage their emotions, how to solve problems, how to avoid risky behaviors, and how to improve their academics.

Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
“Medal of Honor, Lessons of Personal Bravery and Self-Sacrifice” is a teaching resource designed by teachers to provide students with opportunities to explore the important concepts of courage, commitment, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity, and citizenship. While drawn from the personal accounts of our living Medal of Honor recipients, this collection of lesson plans does not glorify or glamorize war.

Developmental Studies Center
DSC is dedicated to children’s academic, ethical and social development and helps schools and after-school programs become caring, inclusive communities as well as stimulating, supportive places to learn.

Edu-quest International
Edu-quest focuses on teaching, learning, leadership and organizational effectiveness by challenging minds, engaging hearts and strengthening skills. They build on successful practices already underway in school districts and assist in devising and implementing programs to ensure continuous improvement and creating the best possible education systems and learning cultures.

Edutopia
Edutopia is the result of the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s vision of a new world of learning where students and parents, teachers and administrators, policy makers and those they serve are empowered to change education for the better; where schools provide rigorous project-based learning, social-emotional learning, and access to new technologies; and where students become lifelong learners.

Ethics Resource Center
ERC is dedicated to research that advances high ethical standards and to supporting character education in secondary schools. The Center presents results at conferences, trainings, and meetings with senior managers. It supports character education by drawing on best practices, including student-centered and collaborative learning.

The Flippen Group
The Flippen Group helps schools become thriving organizations that are driven by the mutual commitment of staff and students. The organization fosters specific skills, behaviors, and processes through training, curricula, and active mentoring and reinforcement.

The Giraffe Heroes Project
The Giraffe Project honors risk-takers who have the courage to stick their necks out for the common good. Honored “Giraffes” go above and beyond and are involved in long-term self-initiated efforts. Curriculum programs help foster courageous compassion, active citizenship and academic success by combining service-learning, character education, civic engagement and literacy training.

Institute for Global Ethics
IGE is dedicated to promoting ethical action by exploring the global common ground of values, elevating awareness, and providing practical tools for making ethical decisions. The Institute has departments focused on supporting corporate ethics, the educational community, government agencies, nonprofits and parents. It provides professional development to assist school leaders in developing school-wide cultures of integrity.

Kids of Character
Kids of Character is a nonprofit promoting character development for youth, based in the Lehigh Valley, PA. It inspires youth to become ethical, responsible citizens through creating programs, recognizing individuals who demonstrate good character, and establishing community support.

Learning for Life
Learning for Life develops engaging academic, character, leadership and career-focused programs that enable students to achieve their full potential. The organization has developed an educational program that integrates character development with reading, math, science and social studies. The lessons are grade-appropriate, theme-oriented, research-based plans to enhance and support the core curriculum.

Lions Quest
Lions Quest provides comprehensive, positive youth development curricula that empower and support adults in nurturing caring and responsible young people. The programs teach essential life skills to support character development, social-emotional learning and civic values.

Mindset Works
When students and educators have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed. Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter. Based on years of research by Stanford University’s Dr. Dweck, Lisa Blackwell Ph.D., and their colleagues, we know that students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school, better grades, and higher test scores.

National Character Education Center
NCEC’s mission is to develop value-driven, respectful, and responsible people. It provides hundreds of solutions and practical strategies through its bookstore and free online newsletter “Values in Action,” as well as through seminars and keynote addresses on a wide variety of topics and different types of focus for every grade level.

Not in Our Town
Not in Our Town documents and shares the experiences of everyday people developing extraordinary ways to oppose bigotry. Stories of positive action, told through films, social media, educational programs and grassroots community outreach motivate others to launch their own initiatives. Part of this movement includes Not in Our Schools, which inspires youth to launch their own campaigns against bullying and intolerance.

Positive Action
Positive Action improves academics, behavior and character by teaching and promoting positive actions that lead to success and happiness. The program includes K-12 curricula, supplemental kits, and school-wide climate development tools. The K-12 curriculum kits contain instructor’s manuals, lesson plans and materials for each grade level. Supplemental kits cover topics including substance abuse, violence prevention and conflict resolution.

Project Wisdom
Project Wisdom is a character education program that contains materials for educators, classrooms, and the whole school. The program consists of a library of thought-provoking, inspirational messages that can be broadcast each morning, encouraging everyone to do and be their personal best; a subscription to a resource site that provides materials, such as lesson plans and weekly journals, to help students develop social, emotional, ethical and civic skills; and weekly morale boosters that are written for educators.

Responsive Classroom
Responsive Classroom is a widely used, research-backed approach to elementary education that is a general approach to teaching, rather than a program designed to address a specific issue, and consists of a set of practices, such as morning meetings, that build academic and social-emotional competencies. The organization offers a variety of services, including trainings, follow-up support, teacher leadership development, a national conference and regional workshops and seminars.

School-Connect
School-Connect publishes a program and trains educators in boosting students’ social, emotional and academic skills in high school. They also train educators to create supportive learning communities in high schools. The program is a 40-lesson curriculum that strengthens relationships among students and teachers by focusing on social awareness, self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

SouthEast Education Network
The Network, through the print and electronic SEEN Magazine, provides resources, ideas and techniques to help educators be more effective while growing personally and professionally. SEEN addresses the needs of educators in the southeastern U.S., including classroom management technology, curriculum standards, 21st-century learning, school safety, and character education.

Tribes Learning Community
The TLC process improves learning because students feel appreciated by peers and teachers; are respected for different attributes; are actively involved in learning; and have positive expectations from others that they will succeed. Teachers use methods that are based on brain-compatible learning, multiple intelligences, cooperative learning and social development research.

University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension offers training and resources about character development across the state to enable people to improve their lives and communities through learning partnerships that put knowledge to work. Parents, teachers, business owners, and civic leaders who work with and on behalf of young people and communities can become involved and promote ethical decisions in all facets of life.

U.S. Department of Education: What Works in Character Education
The What Works Clearinghouse publishes intervention reports that evaluate research on character education curricula and instructional strategies designed for use in elementary, middle, and/or high schools. These curricula and strategies are intended to improve student outcomes related to positive character development, pro-social behavior, and academic performance.

WhyTry
The WhyTry program provides hands-on solutions for dropout and violence prevention, truancy reduction and increased academic success. The organization provides keynotes, certification, in-service trainings, and conference breakout sessions. The program can be used in high school to incorporate critical social and emotional skills or in middle school to impact negative behavior during those transitional years.

WiseSkills
The WiseSkills program teaches youth the traits and principles found in the concept of wisdom. It is an interdisciplinary, teacher-friendly approach that emphasizes modeling, teaching and reinforcing. The program highlights inspiring role models and helps schools reduce behavior problems, increase instructional time and build positive school culture.

Service-Learning

There are many resources available for community service projects, but these organizations dedicate themselves to fostering service in a more sustainable approach. They offer service-learning ideas and other resources to help your students engage with their surrounding community and become life-long advocates for giving back.
see resources for community service projects

Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation aims to engage all Americans by providing people-power to address emerging community needs; promoting volunteerism; and building character while creating career and educational opportunities. It provides grants, training and technical assistance to organizations and connects volunteers to suitable programs.

The Golden Rule Foundation
The Golden Rule Foundation believes fostering character development in children is serious business and is dedicated to helping schoo lchildren build character through community service. They raise money to support class projects that meet a pressing community need, provide real-world applications for students’ class work, and help them grow from the experience.

The Haas Center for Public Service
The Haas Center, at Stanford University, provides ways for Stanford students to connect their academic and service lives in order to realize a just and sustainable world through service, scholarship, and community partnerships. The Center has developed a set of principles for ethical and effective service, and it runs numerous programs for students to get involved with. The website provides resources for students, faculty, and the community, as well as an opportunity to post requests for help from student volunteers.

Hudson Public School District
HPS is a Massachusetts district committed to promoting students’ intellectual, ethical and social development through challenging curricula and caring school environments. After becoming a National District of Character in 2001, they become a state sponsor in 2008. They continue to be recognized as a leader in instructional innovation and have developed a K-12 service-learning program.

Learn and Serve America
Learn and Serve America encourages service-learning nationwide by providing grants for school-community partnerships; offering training and technical assistance resources; and disseminates research, effective practices, curricula and program models. Service-learning projects make a significant contribution to education, public safety and environmental needs, while engaging students and strengthening community ties. Grants are used to create new programs, replicate existing ones, and provide training.

National Service-Learning Partnership
The Partnership is a national network dedicated to advancing service-learning. It concentrates on strengthening the impact of service-learning on learning and development, while also advocating for service-learning in federal policy. The Partnership supports members by sharing resources, organizing change, sponsoring innovation and providing training.

National Youth Leadership Council
NYLC is at the forefront of the movement to link youth, educators, and communities through service-learning. The annual conference draws thousands of service-learning practitioners and the research NYLC publishes is transforming the field and influencing public policy. NYLC fosters commitment to engaged learning characterized by academic rigor, civic engagement and character development.

South Dakota 4-H
South Dakota 4-H, part of the state university’s Cooperative Extension Service, offers members a chance to get involved in the community as volunteers and youth leaders by organizing and carrying out volunteer and service-learning projects. Each club maintains its own focus, based on the interests of its own members. Affiliated with Character Counts, the South Dakota 4-H website provides resources that assist in teaching youth about being a person of character.

Youth: Ethics in Service (YES)
From the School for Ethical Education comes this meaningful opportunity for service-learning for second to twelfth graders and the educators responsible for them. Youth: Ethics in Service (YES) helps Connecticut educators and youth in grades 2-12 implement meaningful service-learning projects. The goal of YES is to promote academic achievement, critical thinking, character development and civic engagement through the teaching strategy of service-learning.

Youth Service America
YSA is a coalition of local, state, national and global organizations supporting a culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning and leadership by advocating for the power of youth as problem-solvers and by engaging youth as volunteers, academic achievers and leaders. YSA organizes campaigns such as Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), provides funding and recognition, and offers resources and training.

Addressing Specific Needs

The organizations provided here are a collection of resources that cover specific topic areas. While they cover a wide variety of topics, each one has a connection to character education goals. Find here resources covering

  • Arts and Character Education
  • Assemblies and Presentations
  • Books and Multimedia Products
  • Bully and Hate Crime Prevention
  • Developing Values
  • Experiential Learning
  • Leadership
  • Storytelling
  • Well-Being, Self-Esteem, Goal-Setting and Health Awareness
  • Youth Court
see resources

Arts and Character Education
Character through the Arts
CTTA was a four-year grant funded through the US Department of Education. The purpose was to integrate arts agencies, teaching artists, and the Artful Learning education reform model with proven character education strategies. The grant proposed to determine the impact this integration had on moral character and academic achievement.

StageNotes.net
StageNotes.net is a free online resource center for educators that delivers direct access to a wide variety of authorized Broadway-inspired study guides, videos, books, scripts and service organizations to enable theater arts integration into classrooms around the nation.

Assemblies and Presentations
Character County! Productions, Inc.
Character County! Productions brings entertaining character education assembly programs to schools and venues in the southeastern U.S. Performances include upbeat songs, inspiring stories, humorous dialogue with large full-body puppets, unusual props and active audience participation.

Climb Theatre
Climb produces original plays and classes for K-12 grades on a variety of character development topics, such as bully prevention, responsibility, social skills, and acceptance of differences. The plays are research-based and written to achieve specific educational objectives. Classes are made up of age-appropriate activities and scenes that either teach an important lesson or provoke new thoughts about an issue that kids deal with every day. The website also offers supportive products that follow up their presentations.

Million Dollar Machine
Million Dollar Machine provides scientifically-validated life skills training that helps children achieve their personal best in life through lesson plans and assembly programs that promote self-responsibility and motivate children to maintain positive relationships and respect for others.

Books and Multimedia Products
Character Development Group
Character Development Group provides staff development resources, including Dr. Phil Vincent’s Character Education Series of books, curricula, and workshops. The company also publishes materials from other leading character education experts.

Connect with Kids
CWK is a multimedia education company focused on improving the social and emotional well-being of children and teens. CWK’s mission is to connect kids with adults, using the power of real stories on video, television and the internet. Resources include DVDs, books and television programs that profile real kids, parents and experts talking about difficult issues like bullying, stress and drugs.

Film Clips for Character Education
Film Clips provides educators with clips from major motion pictures cleared for use as teaching resources. Each episode is accompanied by a study guide prepared by expert educators. Clips can be ordered in a variety of packages, with the largest collection containing 89 clips.

Free Spirit Publishing
Free Spirit provides children, teens, and the adults who care about them, with the tools they need to succeed. They provide books and other learning materials that are practical, positive, pro-kid, and solution-focused to help develop talents, build resiliency, and foster a positive outlook on life so they can reach their goals.

Rising Star Education
RSE creates and distributes audio, video and print media resources that are safe, classroom-proven and entertaining. These resources encourage children to build excellence in character, relationships and academics. Using creative storytelling, award-winning animation and kid-friendly support resources, RSE provides high-quality media for educators and the children they serve.

USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
Established by Steven Spielberg to gather video testimonies from Holocaust survivors, the Institute has broadened its mission to overcoming prejudice, intolerance and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through use of these testimonies. The Institute reaches educators, students and researchers worldwide and supports efforts to collect testimony from survivors and witnesses of other genocides.

Young People’s Press
Young People’s Press provides a variety of resources available for purchase from their online catalog. Curriculum areas covered include language arts, reading, and social responsibility, with plans to expand to cover math as well. The language arts section includes materials to help students sharpen grammar, usage, and mechanical skills by making daily oral language a morning ritual, while incorporating lessons about important character traits.

Bully and Hate Crime Prevention
Hudson Public School District
HPS is a Massachusetts district committed to promoting students’ intellectual, ethical and social development through challenging curricula and caring school environments. After becoming a National District of Character in 2001, they become a state sponsor in 2008. They continue to be recognized as a leader in instructional innovation and have developed a K-12 service-learning program.

No Bully
No Bully brings innovative, long-term solutions to school bullying, harassment and violence. This nonprofit partners with schools and districts nationwide to implement building blocks that create bully-free learning communities, through strategies such as structured meetings that bring together a team of students under an adult leader to stop the bullying of a peer.

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
OBPP is backed by over 35 years of research and implementation in many countries. It has been proven to prevent or reduce bullying throughout a school setting. The program targets system-wide change at the individual, classroom, school, and community levels, reaching out to parents and community members for involvement and support.

Operation Respect
OR aims to assure each child a respectful climate of learning where academic and social development can take place free of bullying, ridicule and violence. Founded by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary, the organization disseminates resources such as the free Don’t Laugh at Me program, which uses inspiring music, video and curriculum guides to promote peaceful conflict resolution. OR also offers assembly programs and training.

Partners Against Hate
Partners Against Hate was started as a project of several nonprofits to provide educational and counteraction strategies for young people and community professionals who interact with them. The program provides blueprints, activities, and tools to help adults teach children not to hate, how to safely use the internet, and how to create programs with their student peers.

Prevention and Tolerance: A Counselor’s Guide to Bullying
Bullying can take many forms; it can also affect all types of people, from the stereotypical “geek” to the most popular kid on campus. There are steps that schools, communities, and individuals can take to combat bullying, one of which is simply addressing the problem. As more research emerges, it’s becoming clear that anti-bullying measures can work. And in many cases, these measures might make a real difference in the life of a child.

StopBullying.gov
StopBullying provides information from various government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators, and community members can prevent or stop bullying. It provides resources for you if you or someone you know is being bullied, as well as information on what bullying is, how to recognize warning signs, and how to get help.

Civic Education
Close Up Foundation
Close Up is a nonprofit that provides challenging, hands-on civic education programs for students and teachers who come to Washington, DC. These programs are known for their impact on student attitudes through learning, making personal connections to history, and challenging opinions, as well as for giving teachers insights to take back to the classroom.

Utah Coalition for Civic, Character and Service Learning
The Coalition aims to instill in all students the desire to become engaged citizens, endowed with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and confidence to participate fully in democratic life. The collaborative effort of the Coalition fosters community awareness of civic education and the need for engaged citizenship.

Developing Values
Characters of Character
Characters of Character is a nonprofit committed to making a difference in the lives of as many children as possible. The organization establishes a strong foundation for children to develop civic values by providing resources to teach children a variety of character traits, allowing them to be introduced to each trait and understand and internalize its meaning. Their program uses animals to provide children with an outlet to be creative while practicing fine motor, reading, writing, decision-making and social skills.

Heart of Education
The Heart of Education inspires individuals to live authentic, joyful lives; families to raise children of compassion and integrity; educators to create safe, caring and high-performing communities; and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics.

The Virtues Project
The Virtues Project is a grassroots global initiative that empowers individuals to live meaningful lives; families to raise compassionate children; educators to foster caring communities; and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics. Personal practices enable us to transform negativity, to discern teachable moments and to set clear boundaries. Parents become mentors helping children to become compassionate, respectful and purposeful. Schools foster academic excellence while creating a culture of caring, along with trust among staff.

Virtue Toys
Virtue Toys began as a game that helps teach character by being specific with our language through a bingo-style card game where students complete tasks described on cards, often in cooperation with other players.

We Choose Virtues
We Choose Virtues inspires children through simple, positive and consistent instructions. Each kit contains a teacher’s guide, posters and cards that introduce and demonstrate each virtue, allowing you to reinforce them throughout the year so that students can fully memorize, demonstrate and apply each one.

Experiential and Expeditionary Learning
Expeditionary Learning Schools
EL is a national school reform organization that partners with all types of schools to open new schools and transform existing ones to allow all students to achieve academic success and develop 21st-century skills necessary for college and beyond. EL schools inspire learning, engage teachers and students, and transform schools into places where students and adults become leaders of their own learning.

Mindset Works
When students and educators have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed. Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter. Based on years of research by Stanford University’s Dr. Dweck, Lisa Blackwell Ph.D., and their colleagues, we know that students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school, better grades, and higher test scores.

National Society for Experiential Education
NSEE is an association of educators, businesses and community leaders that support the use of learning through experience for intellectual and ethical development, cross-cultural awareness, and career exploration. It disseminates good practices and innovations; enhances the growth and leadership of its members; and encourages research and theory.

Leadership
Focused Leadership Solutions
FLS helps schools raise student achievement by improving instruction and building effective teams through customized trainings. They take your existing talent and help build skills and improve working relationships. Often they develop long-term partnerships with on-site and online support and assistance, such as ongoing leadership training for principals and district leaders.

Leadership Innovations Team
LIT is committed to understanding each situation and developing custom solutions that helps schools thrive by empowering staff, focusing administrators, and developing students. They provide tools and support to help leaders and organizations identify specific research-based areas to target. LIT believes that leadership is the difference in creating and sustaining successful organizations.

New Leaders for New Schools
New Leaders attracts, prepares, and supports outstanding individuals to become the next generation of school leaders in response to the immense need for exceptional principals in our nation’s urban public schools. It has developed into a national movement of leaders with an unwavering commitment to ensure that every student achieves academic excellence. Through city partnerships, New Leaders has been increasing demand from districts for principal training programs.

Storytelling
Story Values
Story Values is an integrated online resource that uses storytelling to support character education, ELL, bully prevention, social responsibility and citizenship, and equity and inclusive education strategies. Five unique programs are offered, covering comprehensive character education, foundations of multiculturalism, common-ground bully prevention, elements of our environment, and Story Values at home.

Well-Being, Self-Esteem and Goal-Setting
Accent on Success
Accent on Success has developed several tools to help young people develop into positive and productive adults, including several books and slideshow presentations. Learn about important life skills such as goal setting, respect, responsibility, educational ownership, and developing a positive attitude.

Bing Note
Bing Note provides products and various resources to help build self-esteem in children by providing tools to protect them from the effects of harsh words or playground abuses. Using a character called “Bingzy,” the team has developed a picture book, a CD, activity sheets, and other helpful merchandise and advice.

The Greater Good Science Center
The GGSC, part of the University of California—Berkeley, studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Its scientific initiatives are undertaken by university fellowships. Originally the Center published a print magazine, which has since been transformed into a dynamic, multimedia, online format. The highly interactive website includes hundreds of articles that fuse in-depth practical reporting with inspiring stories of compassion in action, video and podcast series, book reviews, a blog with science-based tips for more joyful kids and happier parents, and a seminar series.

Project Adventure
Project Adventure’s cutting-edge physical education, health/wellness and behavior management programs seek to develop responsible individuals, productive organizations and sustainable communities. It offers a multitude of tools, including workshops for professionals, challenge course design and installation, curricula, and customized programs.

Youth Court
Global Youth Justice
Global Youth Justice empowers youth to serve as youth justice advocates for a more peaceful world. These voluntary diversion programs help improve our quality of life by reducing crime and incarceration rates around the globe. These programs use positive peer pressure to help lead other youth to adhere to the rule of law and become more productive citizens.