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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday: Tough Choices * (third Monday of January) — Dr. King faced many difficult decisions in his life. With these materials, students have an opportunity to reflect on the fact that each of us faces many decisions each day. Some may be very difficult, but whatever the situation, we can learn from Dr. King's example by using these opportunities to do the right thing.
Key Idea: The time is always right to do what is right.
Character Traits: Moral Courage - Integrity - Honesty - Fairness - Tolerance
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Black History Month.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Winning Hearts * — This message and plan are written to honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, but do not directly discuss the horrors of the Holocaust, which would be inappropriate for this age group. Materials focus instead on the unfairness of treating others unkindly because of differences. Students explore how fairness and kindness create more peace in our homes, schools, and communities.
Key Ideas: Hurtful teasing - Unfairness - Creating more peace in our homes, schools, and communities
Character Traits: Respect - Kindness - Fairness

National Be On Purpose Month: Did You do That on Purpose? * — Life can be so random at times. It can be confusing and challenging. For life to make sense, it has to have meaning. It has to have purpose, and having purpose in our lives is something we choose because when we do anything on purpose, we do it deliberately. Students explore the importance of choosing a worthy purpose in their lives.
Key Ideas: Making good choices - Goal setting
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility

National Family Fitness Month: Healthy and Happy * — Many of our students are not eating right or getting enough exercise. Childhood obesity is on the rise and according to the Mayo Clinic, treating it requires the entire family. January is National Family Fitness Month which is a great time for students to stop to consider ways they and their families can help each other get fit.
Key Ideas: Resolutions or promises to get fit - Family fitness
Character Traits: Self-discipline - Respect - Responsibility

National Reaching Your Potential Month: Reaching for Greatness * — Every single one of us has the potential for greatness, no matter what circumstances we were born into, no matter what types of challenges we face. Students have the opportunity to consider that greatness can manifest in many ways.
Key Ideas: Personal potential - Striving to be one's best - Overcoming challenges
Character Traits: Determination - Hard work - Encouragement

New Year: Go for the Goal ** — Michael Phelps once said: “I want to be able to look back and say, ‘I’ve done everything I can, and I was successful.’” Students will examine the benefits of resolving to do one’s best to reach a goal so they will have no regrets, regardless of the outcome.
Key Ideas: New year - Resolving to do one’s best - Turning adversity into strength - Goal setting
Character Traits: Perseverance - Self-respect - Discipline

New Year: Helpful Hands * — Volunteers are essential to our homes, schools, communities, and nation. Without their help there would be much less love and joy in our world. In this message and lesson plan, students are encouraged to offer their own hands to help others in need. Each student will consider the idea that by helping others they are becoming a better person and making a real difference in the lives of others.
Key Idea: Volunteering helps us become better people
Character Traits: Citizenship - Volunteerism - Caring

New Year: Keeping Resolutions * — The New Year is traditionally a time to make promises for a better year. Students explore the notion that it's important to put our whole heart into whatever promises we make to ourselves. They explore the idea of being a more active participant in all aspects of their lives.
Key Idea: Making resolutions as a way to reach goals and dreams
Character Traits: Determination - Commitment - Confidence - Positive attitude

The Olympics: Overcoming Obstacles * — No Olympic athlete has worked harder to get to the Olympics than those who compete in the Paralympics for disabled athletes. One such athlete is Ralph Green. Ralph has a story that will inspire both you and your students.
Key Idea: Turning obstacles into opportunities
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Self-discipline - Commitment

* These same materials can also be found under a Life Skills/Pressing Issues category.
** These same materials can also be found under August for the new school year.

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