Character Education Award Honors Cedar Hill School
Students, parents celebrate 'commitment to being a respectful learning community.'
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On March 18, Cedar Hill Elementary School teacher Cathy Lundquist traveled to Rider College to accept the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional and Character Development’s designation as an “Emerging School of Character.” Cedar Hill School was among three schools in the state to earn this distinction.
The award was bestowed upon the school for complying with the Alliance’s Character Education Partnership’s “Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education.” Upon consideration of Cedar Hill’s application, the Partnership determined that the school has demonstrated an outstanding character education initiative that yields positive results in student behavior, school climate, and academic performance.
Since its inception in 2005 by Lundquist, school counselor Heather Praml, and 13 other teachers, the school’s homegrown Character Education program, Connect with Respect, “has been nurtured through an integrated curriculum,” said Praml.
“This year we are using the book ‘Have you Filled a Bucket Today?’ as a theme for encouraging students to help enhance others’ self image. We also sponsor a student’s education in Ghana through Pagus: Africa. This connection to Ghana is integrated into our school culture through reading and writing, as well as an appreciation for cultural diversity. Every student, faculty, and staff member owns a red ‘Connect with Respect’ t-shirt outlining the principles of the program, which we wear at assemblies and on designated days throughout the year to show our unity and commitment to being a respectful learning community.”
Praml, Fran Schlenoff, Director of Guidance for the Montville Township School District; Terry Becker, Home & School Association co-president, and members of the Student Character Education Committee Hunter Kolmodin, Aleeza Rizvi, Rebecca Sherman, Zachary Fillie and Shane Harper, as well as their parents, accompanied Lundquist to receive the award.
“Today was a day I will never forget,” said Lundquist. “Seeing our 5th grade Student Character Education Committee members receiving an award for Character Education on behalf of Cedar Hill School filled my heart with joy! This recognition for our students confirmed that Cedar Hill School has, does and always will ‘Connect with Respect!'”