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Minnesota Schools Honored at National Forum

The Blake School from Minneapolis, Schumann Elementary and Orono Middle School from Long Lake, and Ellis Middle School from Austin all received national recognition at the Character Education Partnership (CEP) 2009 National Forum on Character Education in Washington, D.C. Oct. 29-31. The Blake School was one of 10 schools honored as a National School of Character from a field of 183 applicants. As stated by CEP Executive Director Joe Mazzola, “All of the winners are wonderful exemplars of how comprehensive character education can truly transform school culture and climate, which in turn allows students and teachers to flourish.”

As part of the National Schools of Character Awards Program, CEP also gives annual Promising Practices Awards to schools and districts in the United States and elsewhere for implementing unique and specific strategies in character education. Three Minnesota schools received national recognition at the conference where they were able to showcase their promising practices: The Blake School, Six Billion Paths to Peace; Schumann Elementary, Kids Helping Kids; Orono Middle School, Pledge for Change; and Ellis Middle School for two promising practices, Mind Mapping and The Art Department Connection. Details on these practices can be found on the CAE and CEP websites.

CEP's fall conference was an excellent opportunity for attendees to explore effective practices that can transform school climate and help students develop their social-emotional skills and good character. Attendees were inspired by keynotes Diane G. Berreth, co-founder and first president of CEP; Sean Covey, senior vice president of Innovations and Products at Franklin Covey; John M. Templeton, Jr., president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation; and Eric Greitens, founder, The Mission Continues, navy seal and white house fellow. They were able to select from more than 70 breakout sessions and hot topic discussions, which gave them a chance to hear experts and join in lively discussion about educational issues of the day. Attendees also witnessed General Colin Powell accept the first CEP American Patriot of Character Award and at the national schools of character awards luncheon.

Applications are currently being received for the 2010 Minnesota and National Schools of Character and Promising Practices Awards programs. The MNSOC application deadline is Dec. 1. For an application or more information on these programs, please visit CAE or CEP.

General Colin Powell addresses audience at the 2009 NSOC awards luncheon.

Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr. speaks to the 2009 NSOC awards luncheon audience about thrift and generosity.

Nan Peterson and Scott Flemming from The Blake School receiving their 2009 National School of Character Award banner.

Nan Peterson and Scott Flemming with the 2009 NSOC plaque awarded to The Blake School at the 16th National Forum on Character Education.

Scott Flemming reviewing the processes in place at The Blake School, which promote character education.

“Kids Helping Kids” Promising Practice from Schumann Elementary School in Long Lake displayed at the 2009 National Forum on Character.

Representatives from Schumann Elementary School in Long Lake accept national honors for their promising practice “Kids Helping Kids”

Representatives from Orono Middle School in Long Lake accept national honors for their promising practice “Pledge for Change”.

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