Girls First — Boys Being Left Behind?

In a recent post on the University of San Diego’s blog, Edward DeRoche points out the widening academic gap between boys and girls: “Girls are reading better than boys … and the pattern is giving girls a life-long advantage. Boys are lagging behind girls on standardized reading tests in all 50 states. In Virginia and New Hampshire, middle school girls […]


From the Director’s Chair: An Oasis of Character in the Desert

San Bernardino is just 60 miles east of Los Angeles, but it seems a world away from Hollywood glamour and glitz. With a 15% unemployment rate and an average household income of less than $21,000 annually, it’s the poorest city of its population size in California. An estimated 40% of its residents receive public assistance. In 2012, […]

Growing Up With CHARACTER COUNTS!: A College Student Looks Back on the Six Pillars at Her School

In the mid-1990’s, when CHARACTER COUNTS! was just starting to crop up in communities across the country, it found fertile ground in the desert of New Mexico. Cities like Albuquerque and Roswell embraced it broadly. The school district and individual schools and their parent groups, sports leagues and youth-service organizations, the mayor and other public […]

From the Director’s Chair: CHARACTER COUNTS! With Brett Moffitt on the Racetrack

Every day about 2,000 people visit, but our traffic is bound to accelerate this Sunday, when CHARACTER COUNTS! makes 160 laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That’s right — NASCAR driver Brett Moffitt will be racing at the Brickyard 400, covering those 400 miles with “CHARACTER COUNTS!” emblazoned prominently on his #66 Toyota and on […]

How Do We Make Caring Commonplace?

By Barbara Gruener Early last week, a recent report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education caught my eye. “The Children We Mean to Raise: The Real Message Adults Are Sending About Values” reported that most young people in a recent survey said their parents and teachers rank achievement and happiness over caring for others. I immediately thought of my friend Sheila Sjolseth. She’s […]