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This Month's Best Practice

Each Month the Maryland Center for Character Education at Stevenson University (MCCE@SU) picks one of the Best Practices from a Character Education award winning school to share with you.

JUNE

This month's Best Practices is from an award winning school from 2015-2016.

 

BEST CHARACTER EDUCATION PRACTICES

 

School: North Caroline High School

Address: 10990 River Road, Ridgely, MD 21660
Principal: Dr. Michael Smith
E-Mail: michael_smith@mail.cl.k12.md.us

Phone: 410-479-2332

 

Character Ed. Contact: Donna DiGiacomo

E-Mail: donna_digiacomo@mail.cl.k12.md.us

 

Title of Best Practice: Tats for Tail

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 & 10

 

Objective(s): Help the Caroline County Humane Society meet their obligations

 

Description:

Mrs. Donna DiGiacomo (English Teacher) and Key Club students worked with the principal, Dr. Mike Smith, to raise money for the Humane Society. Students collected money at football games and teachers were involved with various incentives to donate money. Over $3000 was raised.

 

Title of Best Practice: Paws 4 a Cause

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 4, 5, 8, 9

 

Objective(s): Raise money for local programs

 

Description:

Mrs. Hollingsworth (secretary) and Mrs. Rehak (art teacher) coordinate this project every year. Each year a different cause is chosen to donate the money to. Mrs. Rehak has students and members of the Palette and Brush Club make and decorate “paws” put of construction paper. Mrs. Hollingsworth then sells the paws to students and staff for a minimum of one dollar. The person purchasing the paw either writes their name on it or dedicates it honor or memory of someone/thing special to them. The paws are then placed on the school Christmas tree displayed in the foyer.


Title of Best Practice: Samaritan House Canned Food Drive

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 8, 10

 

Objective(s): Collect non-perishable foods for local food pantries.

 

Description:

This is an annual event sponsored by Ms. Patricia Doyle (psychology teacher) and the Student Government. Students and staff are encouraged to bring in any type of non-perishable food to be donated to the local food bank. Points are assigned based on weight and homerooms compete for top honors. Point totals are announced daily during morning announcements to promote competition. Over two tons of food was collected this year.

 

Title of Best Practice: Adopt a Little Brother/Sister Toy Drive

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 4, 7, 10

 

Objective(s): Collect Christmas presents for children identified by social services.

 

Description:

This is another annual activity sponsored by Ms. Patricia Doyle and the Student Government. Ms. Doyle receives a list from social services in the beginning of December that gives the gender and age of a child along with clothing sizes and gift ideas. People, or groups, then “adopt” one of the children and purchase gifts for them. 65 to 85 children are “adopted” by students and staff every year.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Pennies for Patients

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 2, 8, 9, 10

 

Objective(s): Collect money for local leukemia victims.

 

Description:

This annual event is also spear headed by Ms. Patricia Doyle and the Student Government. Canisters are distributed to each homeroom and students and staff are asked to donate spare change. Like the canned food drive, it is a “competition” to see which homeroom can collect the most money. Tallies and winners are announced during morning announcements. Over $1000 was collected this year.

 

Title of Best Practice: Maryland 1st Lady Inaugural Arts

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 2, 6, 7, 9

 

Objective(s): To help set up and represent art from NCHS and other schools throughout the state

 

Description:

Mrs. Mary Rehak (art teacher) took her AP art classes (in fall and again in spring) to Annapolis Maryland for the Maryland 1st Lady Inaugural Arts exhibit. Not only did they exhibit their own work, they helped in exhibiting artwork from students throughout the state.

 

Title of Best Practice: Blood Drive

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 7

 

Objective(s): Collect blood for the Delmarva Blood Bank

 

Description:

This activity is sponsored semi-annually by Mrs. Mirta Bradner (Spanish Teacher), Mrs. Katherine Schoonover (math teacher) and the National Honor Society. They place posters around the school and actively “recruit” donors from staff and students 17 years and older. National Honor Society students schedule the donors and help the Blood Bank staff during the actual blood drive event. Honor Society students provide juice, cookies and t-shirt for the donors. They also help educate staff and students about the importance of donating blood.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Laws of Life

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 5, 10

 

Objective(s): To understand how the “Laws of Life” affect everyday aspects of life.

 

Description:

Mrs. DiGiacomo has students write essays about one or two of the pillars involved with “Character Counts.” The essays must be about personal experiences. Students have the option to enter their essay into a tri-county contest.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Lively Languages – Part 1

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 4, 6, 10

 

Objective(s): To promote and celebrate foreign languages.

 

Description:

Mrs. Mirta Bradner (Spanish teacher) and members of the Spanish Clubs went to Denton Elementary School to teach 4th grade students numbers how to sing songs in both English and Spanish. This was done to help the growing number of bi-lingual students and to help foster acceptance of other cultures and languages.


Title of Best Practice: Into the Classroom

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 6, 7, 9

 

Objective(s): To put classroom theory into real life practice.

 

Description:

Mrs. Kathi Bridwell (Teacher Academy and Early Childhood teacher) and her students visited three elementary schools within our county and spent a full day at each school. Her students spent the day working and playing with the elementary school students. They were able to give students one-on-one time with a young adult. The high school students were able to practice various strategies they had learned in the classroom while helping students who could benefit from the extra attention.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Celebrate Cultural Diversity

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9

 

Objective(s): To celebrate cultural diversity.

 

Description:

Mrs. Kathi Bridwell (teacher academy) and Mrs. Donna DiGiacomo (English Teacher) worked across curriculums to create a multi cultural lesson plan that celebrates diverse cultures. Students brought in foods that celebrate their various heritages and they played games that were indicative of various cultures .. Students were then paired up with students they did not know and shared what they learned from the lesson.

 

Title of Best Practice: Unified Sports

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 3, 4, 5, 7, 10

 

Objective(s): To allow students with disabilities the chance to participate in team sports.

 

Description:

Mr. Mike Miller (math teacher) coaches bocce ball (spring), Mr. Bildstein (PE teacher) coaches weight lifting (winter) and Mrs. Parks (English teacher) coaches tennis (fall) for the Unifies Sports teams (for students with disabilities). Students without disabilities also participated as team members and assistant coaches. These teams are affiliated with Special Olympics and afford disabled students with the opportunity to be an integral part of our sports program.

 

Title of Best Practice: Lions Club

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 9 & 10

 

Objective(s): Created a partnership with the local Lions Club to get actively involved with the community.

 

Description:

Mrs. Donna DiGiacomo worked with Lion Club “King” Ross Harper and four students to create a new club in school that focuses around various community service project and encourages students to become life long community volunteers.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Books Are Fun!

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 & 10

 

Objective(s): To help children enjoy reading

 

Description:

Mr. Charles Hunter, Mrs. Kathy Harcum, Mrs. Anne Livingstone, (English teachers), and their students communicated with elementary school teachers to find out information about the elementary school children. They then took this information to create personalized picture/children books for the students and gave them to the children.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Volley for a Cure.

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 2, 4, 7, 10

 

Objective(s): To raise money for Breast Cancer research and awareness of the disease.

 

Description:

Mrs. Amanda VanSciver (varsity volleyball coach) and members of the volleyball team hosted and coordinated a volleyball match against county rival, Easton High School. All proceeds went directly to the Susan G. Koehman Breast Cancer Foundation.

 

Title of Best Practice: Read-A-Loud

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9

 

Objective(s): Help Spanish and English students learn to read and understand both languages. Encourage diversity.

 

Description:

Mrs. Mirta Bradner and her Spanish 4 students wrote original children’s books in both English and Spanish. They took them to Denton Elementary School to read them to the students.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: It’s Good to be Green – Part 1

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

 

Objective(s): Promote awareness of the need to protect our environment.

 

Description:

Mrs. Anderson (science teacher) continues with the “Green Club” to promote a more environmentally friendly and aware school. The club writes grants that allows them to purchase environmental videos, incentive rewards and various recycling material. They continue to expand the butterfly garden and recycling program to include weekly classroom pick ups of paper and plastic bottles. The Green Club also provides “Green Facts” to be read daily during the morning announcements. Our school maintained the official Green School designation.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Read-A-Loud

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9

 

Objective(s): Help Spanish and English students learn to read and understand both languages. Encourage diversity.

 

Description:

Mrs. Mirta Bradner and her Spanish 4 students wrote original children’s books in both English and Spanish. They took them to Denton Elementary School to read them to the students.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: It’s Good to be Green – Part 1

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

 

Objective(s): Promote awareness of the need to protect our environment.

 

Description:

Mrs. Anderson (science teacher) continues with the “Green Club” to promote a more environmentally friendly and aware school. The club writes grants that allows them to purchase environmental videos, incentive rewards and various recycling material. They continue to expand the butterfly garden and recycling program to include weekly classroom pick ups of paper and plastic bottles. The Green Club also provides “Green Facts” to be read daily during the morning announcements. Our school maintained the official Green School designation.

 

Title of Best Practice: Read-A-Loud

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9

 

Objective(s): Help Spanish and English students learn to read and understand both languages. Encourage diversity.

 

Description:

Mrs. Mirta Bradner and her Spanish 4 students wrote original children’s books in both English and Spanish. They took them to Denton Elementary School to read them to the students.

 

Title of Best Practice: It’s Good to be Green – Part 1

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

 

Objective(s): Promote awareness of the need to protect our environment.

 

Description:

Mrs. Anderson (science teacher) continues with the “Green Club” to promote a more environmentally friendly and aware school. The club writes grants that allows them to purchase environmental videos, incentive rewards and various recycling material. They continue to expand the butterfly garden and recycling program to include weekly classroom pick ups of paper and plastic bottles. The Green Club also provides “Green Facts” to be read daily during the morning announcements. Our school maintained the official Green School designation.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: It’s Good to be Green – Part 2

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10

 

Objective(s): To monitor and promote good quality of local water sources.

 

Description:

Mrs. Anderson and the Green Club continue to monitor and test the quality of water in Tuckahoe and Martinek State Parks. The data is analyzed and entered into the government field scope database.

 

Title of Best Practice: Elementary Field Days

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10

 

Objective(s): To help out the various elementary schools so their end of year field trips run smoothly

 

Description:

Our guidance office oversees the volunteer lists for how many volunteers each school needs and makes sure the students have the correct information and paperwork to help out with the different field days.

 

Title of Best Practice: School Rules

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 4, 5, 7, 9

 

Objective(s): Transition incoming 8th graders to high school rules and expectations

 

Description:

Mr. & Mrs. Schoonover (math teachers), Mr. Wayne Martin (band director) along with Members of the Drama Club created a skit to perform at the 8th grade orientation assembly. The skit was entirely student written, directed and performed. Drama Club members also recruited non-drama club members to participate in the skit. The skit explained different things about the high school including school rules and expectations. Mr. & Mrs. Schoonover provided guidance and support, but the skit itself is always 100% student driven.

 

Title of Best Practice: Graduation Clean Up

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, & 7

 

Objective(s): Preparing for graduation ceremonies and cleaning up afterwards

 

Description:

Mr. Jim Seymour, (retired gym teacher), Ms. Mary Fisher (gym teacher) and Mr. Donald Starkey (head custodian) worked with students to prepare the inside and outside of school grounds for graduation. After graduation they cleaned up and put everything back in order.

 

Title of Best Practice: Bulldog 5K

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10

 

Objective(s): Raise money for various local organizations

 

Description:

Mrs. Anne Ennis and the FBLA organized a 5K run/walk to raise money for the community. They also volunteered to man a booth at the annual Strawberry Festival in Ridgely.

 

Title of Best Practice: Peer Tutoring

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 4, 5, 6

 

Objective(s): Help students

 

Description:

Mrs. Michelle Foster (librarian) created an after school program where higher level students tutor students who need help with studies, tests, or homework.

 

Title of Best Practice: Reading to Children and their families

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9

 

Objective(s): Make reading enjoyable for children

 

Description:

Mrs. Bridwell and students of Educators Rising read to the children and their moms at St. Martin’s Village, a homeless shelter for moms and young children.

 

Title of Best Practice: Fresh Start Boxes

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 4, 5, 6

 

Objective(s): Help battered women

 

Description:

Mrs. Bridwell and students from TAM and ECE collected personal grooming items for women at the Caroline County Battered Women’s Shelter.

 

Title of Best Practice: March of Dimes

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 4, 5, 7, 10

 

Objective(s): Help March of Dimes raise awareness and money

 

Description:

Mrs. Anne Ennis (business teacher) and FBLA students created baskets of goodies and held a movie night; money and baskets were donated to the March of Dimes organization.

 


Title of Best Practice: Pickering Creek

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 5, 7, 10

 

Objective(s): Help out various local organizations

 

Description:

Mrs. Catherine Bornhoeft spearheaded a two day field trip with her students to plant native plants to create watershed buffers at the Pickering Creek Audobon Center. They also stenciled drains in their parking lot and learned about ways to prevent harmful runoffs into the Choptank.

 

Title of Best Practice: Lively Languages – Part 2

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 4, 6, 10

 

Objective(s): Promote cultural diversity

 

Description:

Ms. Nathalie Meunier and French Club students went to Denton Elementary School to teach 3rd grades basic French to encourage them appreciate other cultures and to see the importance of global communication

 

 

Title of Best Practice: National Honor Society – More than academics

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

 

Objective(s): To show that Honor Society takes service to the community seriously

 

Description:

Mrs. Mirta Bradner, Mrs. Katherine Schoonover and the National Honor Society helped out in numerous activities including: collecting items for the Humane Society, writing letters to service men and women, donating funds to families in need and the NCHS library. They also help in a multitude of county activities. This year they created a power point and video with the Caroline County Health Department to show the dangers of smoking and to remind stores that’s it’s illegal to sell cigarettes to minors.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Elementary School Career Day

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 2, 6, 7, 9

 

Objective(s): High school students provide career information, act as role models, and interact with elementary school students for a day.

 

Description:

Mrs. Anne Ennis (business teacher) and Mrs. MaryRose Rehak (art teacher) coordinate this project. Their students research jobs in the fields of art and business and then share this knowledge with students at elementary schools in the county. The art students do face painting and other art related activities as they interact with the elementary students. The business students provide activities that are business oriented such as counting money, making, change, shopping, etc.

 

 

Title of Best Practice: Pomp & Circumstance & other Musical Events

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 4, 7, 9

 

Objective(s): Provides music for graduation ceremonies and at events throughout the community, including all hoe football games. The band also performs at out of state functions at least one time a year.

 

Description:

Mr. Wayne Martin (music and band teacher) and the NCHS Band of Blue continue to perform at functions throughout the year, including the summer. Mr. Martin and students put in more after school hours than can be counted to help out at any community event that asks for their help. This year they travelled to NYC to perform in the nation wide St. Patrick’s Day parade.

 

 

 


The Maryland Center for Character Education at Stevenson University
School of Education, 1525 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson, MD 21153


E-Mail: MCCEcharacter@aol.com