As I reflect on my own public-school education, the moments I most vividly remember are those when my teachers imparted character lessons about famous Americans. I was entranced by the tales of all my favorite heroes; the truthfulness of George Washington when he confessed to cutting down his father’s cherry tree, (even if the story is fabled!) inspired when recalling Abraham Lincoln’s miles-long walk in bare feet to return a library book, and challenged to tinker after learning about the many inventions of Alexander Graham Bell. But, perhaps the biography of Helen Keller influenced me the most because I became aware of how far one can soar given the gifts of tenacity and courage.
Each year at LANK we choose a yearly flagship unit to guide classroom teaching, and inspire our teachers to think about their lesson planning from a unique perspective. “Character Counts” is our focus this year, and we hope to concentrate our efforts on traits that young children can understand and employ in their own way given their young age. We hope to instill kindness, perseverance, patience and courage. Even a three year old can face a fear, or confront a task with an “I think I can” attitude with the guidance of a loving, supportive adult. In late October, all classes will be studying everyday heroes and becoming acquainted with the important work and bravery of police, firefighters, and military personnel. We will be inviting some special guests to LANK and although they will not be caped crusaders, our hope is that your children will come to see these community workers with the same sense of awe, and admiration that I once held for Alexander Graham Bell, Helen Keller, and our early presidents.