A new character education program has been introduced at Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School during the 2017/18 school year. It’s an initiative of the building’s Shared Decision Making Committee.
“While academics are important, we know that it is equally important to support learning opportunities for the emotional well-being of our students,” states a letter sent home to parents. “Young people today are growing up in a busy, over scheduled world where they are often influenced or even bombarded with messages from various media sources. We believe that a unified team approach between home and school is the best method to support the character development of our students.”
Donna Moro is principal of Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School.
The program’s theme is “Homework for the Soul.” It’s a takeoff on the 1993 bestselling book by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul.
“On the third Wednesday of each month we will have a night of homework dedicated to talking with your student about a particular character trait we are learning about in school,” states the letter sent to parents.
“To spark the discussion, we will send home a link to a short video you can watch with your child,” states the letter. “Afterward, our hope is that you will spend time talking with your child about how they can demonstrate the trait when riding on the school bus, at recess, in class and at home. Teachers will invite students to share how they spend their ‘Homework for the Soul’ evening by journaling and talking about their experiences.”
SDM Committee members and STEM School faculty members hope parents and students embrace the new program. “Time is the greatest gift that can be given,” states the letter sent to parents. “We hope that you will spend this time in a thoughtful discussion with your child.”
At the end of the year, Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School will host a “Wonder Week,” where it will celebrate the character education program through various activities and a theme song. There will even be special t-shirts allowing students to celebrate what makes them unique.
“At the end of the week we will be showing the movie Wonder to all our students,” Principal Donna Moro said. “It will be a great way to end the year.”