Dear CHARACTER COUNTS!
I am a teacher in a preschool parent participation class. Three days a week the preschoolers’ parent(s) come to class to observe and participate in the play and activities for the day. My classroom aides watch the children and I work with the parents, teaching them skills and activities to do with their child.
I thought it would be a great idea to get CHARACTER COUNTS! involved, and get the preschoolers and their parents off to a strong, early character start. I am not sure exactly how or where to begin. Do you have any suggestions?
Dear “Miss Mary”,
Parents are a child’s first teacher. Your classroom meetings are going to be the perfect place to teach about character. There are a lot of lessons for preschool-age children in our Lesson Plan Bank. You can find activities that advocate and enforce the Six Pillars of Character, which you can actually do with the parents. Maybe choose one Pillar trait each month or two. If it is the Pillar of Trustworthiness, for example, then find some activities that teach trustworthiness. Try our “Good to Go” discussion/activity cards, or our book Good Ideas. You can decorate bulletin boards, offer blue snacks (ie. Jello, gummy treats, etc.), dress in blue. It’s fair game to try just about anything you can think of that helps the children and their parents remember the Pillar of Trustworthiness and what it stands for. Go through the Pillars one by one until you have taught all six.
You can find more materials to use to work with parents in our online catalog. We have resources such as our workbooks, music and posters. The younger “Kids for Character” materials are huge with the pre-schoolers. Take a look through the “What is a Parent to Do?” series, available in both English and Spanish. Plenty of suggestions and plans to model good behavior here. The national PTA is our partner in production of the book “Parenting, the Most Important Job of Your Life.”
We wish you a lot of luck and support with your efforts and remember we are here to help. You can contact any of our Program Specialists (800-711-2670, 8:30 to 5:30 Pacific Time) who are always happy to assist you. Thank you again for all you do.
The Character Counts! Office