November 28, 2011
Arizona Character Development
Dear: Certified Trainer,
In Arizona there is a culture of good character! As a matter of fact, Governor Brewer issued a proclamation recently proclaiming the week of October 16 – 22 “Character Counts! Week”.
Today I am writing to you to introduce (if you are not already familiar) the Arizona Character Education Foundation (ACEF) and to let you know of some recent changes.
For over 10 years, the Foundation has been assisting schools throughout Arizona meet their needs for providing quality Character Education within their schools and we still have a lot to do. The Foundation serves the entire state, with the majority of schools currently using the framework located in Maricopa and Yavapai Counties. As many of you know, ACEF began in response to former Governor Jane Dee Hull’s concern about students’ low test scores. A national review of Best Practices revealed that schools which provided opportunities for students to discuss and participate in respectful behavior toward one another saw dramatic improvements in grades, as well as improved interpersonal relationships between students, and between students and adults. ACEF provide training, materials and assistive support to parents, educators and other adults who touch the lives of youth, to instill in youth the traits of positive character. We currently assist more than 900 of Arizona’s 2,150 K-12 schools, reaching thousands of students and parents each year.
ACEF’s framework is based on the nationally-recognized CHARACTER COUNTS!sm model, developed by the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Los Angeles, CA. As such, we are able to tap into research and best practices nationwide. The model is based on the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
We evolved from an Initiative of the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). Several other organizations located both within and outside of Arizona offer character education services, with most having a specific specialty such as anti-bullying or playground management. Together with the Arizona Department of Education, we developed an “Approved Providers” application process and resource databank to recognize and endorse these entities. One of the primary organizations we utilize is “Big Mouth,” a Chandler-based provider that provides high-energy motivational school assemblies.
The Foundation has always worked closely with the Arizona Department of Education and still holds a grant administered by the ADE. Through their channels of communication to schools, they will continue to inform schools statewide about the services we both provide.
ACEF also has a significant collaborative partnership with the Phoenix YMCA, which serves as a model for partnering with other youth-related nonprofit agencies, thus opening the door for us to expand the “character message” after-school and within families.
The Foundation coordinates the trainings through “training request forms” and pays for the training and we want to ensure the Foundation has ample trainers (liaisons) throughout the state so we wanted to reach out to past trainers to gauge their level of continued interest.
Our goal with this letter is to re-invite you to become active with Character Training. We would like to know if you’d still be interested in training or need additional training as the frame work materials have changed and improved! Let us hear from you. We invite you to visit the Foundation’s website at www.azcharacteredfoundation.org. There you will find resources at your disposal as well as information about Character Education. Together, we can make Character Education stronger in Arizona.
We invite you to call us at 602 274 0311 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Todd A. Cooley
Interim Executive Director
AZ Character Education Foundation