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Iowa Department of Education Abstract

Contact: Jane Todey
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319–0146
(515) 281–8514

Jane.Todey@ed.state.ia.us

Partnerships in Character Education

Grant Number: R215V950007
Project Period: 9/1/95–8/31/99
FY 1995 Award: $114,000
FY 1996 Award: $ 55,500
FY 1997 Award: $ 26,900
Application Number: R215V980026
Project Period: 7/1/98–12/31/00
FY 1998 Award: $375,000
FY 1999 Award: $375,000

The Iowa Partnerships in Character Education project is a combined effort of three agencies that have individualized areas of focus for promoting character education throughout the state. The three partners are the Iowa Department of Education, the Northern Trails Area Education Agency, and the Institute for Character Development at Drake University.

Northern Trails Area Education Agency worked directly with a consortium of 24 school districts to improve culture and climate within the schools. Training for teaching professionals focused on an engaging curriculum and building community within school improvement efforts. Survey data on student resiliency indicate that efforts to improve the climate have been successful and that students report an increased sense of belonging and engagement in their school. While this increase cannot be directly tied to student achievement at this time, the belief is widely held that student time on task has increased, while barriers to learning have decreased.

The Institute for Character Development at Drake University identified best practices based on the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education Programs and built them into consultation and training for schools committed to a character education initiative as part of their Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. The Institute trained well over 4,000 educators and community people and functions as the state's clearinghouse of information on character development. The Institute continues to build community awareness and develop relationships with area education agencies and community-based organizations across the state. The grant also positioned the organization to provide on-going consultation, resources, training, and networking opportunities to individuals dedicated to character development.

The Iowa Department of Education has established a relationship with all other state agencies and organizations that hold youth development and community building as a focus, and meets regularly with them to find ways to eliminate barriers to youth development initiatives at the local level. The goal of this group is to focus on character development and education of youth from a broad-based community perspective. Success4, a process for addressing social, emotional, behavioral, and intellectual needs of students within school improvement initiatives, continues to support character development programs and models in over 300 schools in Iowa. Finally, the grant partnership has served to connect programs and initiatives across the state and has substantially increased public awareness with regard to Success4 and character education.

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Last Modified: 11/08/2011