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Children in School Bus

Character Counts

What is character?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is “one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual.” Important character traits and the six pillars of the Character Counts® program include: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

“Throughout history, character education has been the shared responsibility of parents, teachers, and members of the community, who come together to support positive character development.” (US Dept. of Education) Parents play a significant role in teaching character to their children.

The Character Counts Institute is housed at the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University. The Center is dedicated to improving civility throughout the world and has provided materials for parents to use at home with their children.


Explore ideas and discussion starters regarding respect by grade level.

“Within the character of the citizen lies the welfare of the nation.”

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