Character Counts! month

November 30, 1999

It's not covered by the Maryland state assessments or the federal No Child Left Behind act, but we would argue that character education is just as important as teaching children mathematics or geography.

That's why we join local schools and volunteers in celebrating Character Counts! month.

The local chapter of the organization was begun in 1995, when the Washington County Commissioners pledged $15,000 toward the idea.

According to the program's national Web site, Character Counts! is based on the idea that there are certain principles of right and wrong that apply, no matter what a person's race, religion or gender. Character Counts! promoters believe that people are not born with good character, but learn it by example.

It's done locally by incorporating lessons on the following topic into the school curriculum: Trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

To do that, teachers and students discuss what each of those things means and how adopting them affects their lives and the lives of others in the community.


It has been said that a person of good character is someone who does the right thing, even when no one is looking.

The U.S. was founded by people did not just consider what was good for them, but also what was good for their fellow citizens. To prosper and move forward, the nation needs more people to share the values that Character Counts! promotes.

Those who want to learn more about Character Counts! may contact Carolyn Brooks at 131 W. North St., Hagerstown, MD 21740, or call 301-739-8577, ext. 468.

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