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Partnerships in Character Education Program

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West Virginia Department of Education
Integrating Effective Character Education Programs Into Rural Schools

Contact Information: Shelly Stalnaker, Project Director
West Virginia Department of Education
Office of Healthy Schools
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 6, Room 309
Charleston, WV 25305-0330
Web site:
Grant Period: 2005-2009
Amount Requested: $660,288 for a four-year project

Program Description
The West Virginia Department of Education, in cooperation with West Virginia University and the rural counties of Clay, Boone, Summers, and Tyler, will study the effects of project interventions on a randomly selected sample of K-12 schools. This project will involve 165 staff serving 831students in four schools. The project will provide training for Character Development Teams (CDTs) from each of the experimental schools in the implementation of character education. CDTs will include a school-site administrator, a county administrator, teachers, a counselor, parents and community members. Interventions will expose youth to more positive role models and the character traits representative of responsible citizens.

Goals and Objectives

  • To identify and overcome barriers to implementing character education
  • To produce a resource manual and Web site that provides affordable and easier accessibility to effective character education programs
  • To integrate character education programs into existing educational statewide efforts
  • To quantitatively and qualitatively measure the effects of the project through rigorous scientific inquiry

Evaluation Design
Utilizing a quasi-experimental longitudinal design, the grantee will measure the progress of participants in project schools over a three-year period. Two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school will be selected as experimental sites with Clay County schools serving as a comparison group.

Program Highlights
The project provided two days of training for CDTs twice during the planning year. School personnel have participated in the study of character education. Site visits were conducted at all schools by the lead consultant and the Assistant Project Director who gave support to the upcoming implementation year and the action plan for each school. Schools were trained by their CDTs and have selected their preferred character education models for implementation. Staff, students and parents were surveyed and participated in focus groups providing baseline data. Ashford Elementary (Boone County) has adapted portions of CHARACTER COUNTS!™ Talcott Elementary (Summers County) has focused on character traits of service, good manners, positive attitude, responsibility and trustworthiness using CHARACTER COUNTS!™ and Positive Behavior Support. Tyler Middle School (Tyler County) is using CHARACTER COUNTS!™ and service learning. Tyler High (Tyler County) is conducting CHARACTER COUNTS!™ along with Achieving Habits of Character and of Random Acts Kindness. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations have been completed and the results are being compiled. Project personnel held the Summer Character Education Academy for over 140 educators and support staff in June 2006.

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Last Modified: 11/08/2011