Archive for Thursday, April 29, 2004

Starside character rock solid

April 29, 2004

Character education made an impression last week at Starside Elementary School.
Equipped with pizza boxes full of cold, drippy concrete, fifth-graders/students carved designs and pressed in colorful bits of glass and plastic baubles to create character stones. Once dry, the stones will be used for a character garden in front of the school.
Starside counselor Paula Henderson said making the character stones was just one thing the school did to help students focus on the importance of character education.
"I think that focusing on the character qualities is what we want the kids to carry throughout their lives," she said.
Children were each assigned one of six character pillars -- respect, responsibility, citizenship, caring, trustworthiness and fairness -- and its matching color for the theme of their stones.
"Character pillars are each of the character qualities that we expect our kiddos to have in school," said special education teacher Brianna Wiebe.
Small groups of students huddled around buckets filled with decorations to match their pillar's colors. Though Friday's outdoor activities were cut short because of rain, Henderson said the rest of the students would make their stones at a later time.
Wiebe said character education was a big part of the curriculum at Starside. It was the students' idea to make a character garden, and the idea morphed into a type of rock garden, she said.

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