What is Character Education and Social and Emotional Learning?
Our Approach | For Campus |
For Classroom | For Educators
Why it works (Program Evaluation) | Implementation |
What comes with the program?
"I teach in a very high needs school and the messages are right on target for my students to get them thinking about their own character as well as others."
DeAnna, Teacher, MD
What is Character Education and Social and Emotional Learning?
Character education (CE) is an intentional effort to help students understand, care about, and act upon core ethical
values. Students with good character are caring, just, and responsible. They have developed an internal motivation to do their
best and to contribute to the world around them. Academic performance often improves.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a process that students can benefit from by understanding and applying the knowledge and skills they have learned to help manage their emotions. They are better able to make responsible decisions, resolve conflicts, set goals, improve relationships, and feel and show empathy for others.
What is Project Wisdom’s approach?
Project Wisdom is a highly-respected character education and social and emotional program. It is one of the nation’s oldest Character Education programs and is currently licensed in over 19,000 schools across the U.S. There are three key components to this nationally-recognized,
proven-effective program and each component supports the other.
(1) For the Campus
Project Wisdom Online Library of Broadcast Messages
"I send my gratitude and support for your continuing effort to make the world a better place - one message at a time."
Dr. Rosen, Principal, CA
The centerpiece of the program is a series of thought-provoking inspirational messages that are narrated over
your PA or in-house television system. In just one minute a day, you can reach every student and every staff member with a
few words of wisdom that will uplift and promote a more positive and effective school climate. Series 1 comes with one year
of online access to 200+ proven-effective broadcast messages, enough for an entire school year. You and your staff will also
have access to messages batched by weekly or monthly themes, weekly journal pages, quotation booklets,
parent resources, white papers, and more.
(2) For the Classroom
Easy-to-implement lesson plans
"Students are better equipped with the tools to solve problems and to make good decisions."
Juanita, Counselor, TX
You and your entire staff will have access for one year to our highly-rated and easy-to-implement online collection
of lesson plans. These materials help students build character and develop social-emotional competencies while addressing
important and relevant issues such as bullying, cheating and academic achievement. Each plan contains thought-provoking
discussion generators and follow-up activities for each grade level (elementary) or core academic area (secondary).
Free Elementary Materials
Free Secondary Materials
(3) For Educators
Professional Support and Just For You messages
"The Just For You email is so valuable to me. It always comes at just the right time to give me a boost, when I am feeling frustrated or angry. It really helps me keep things in perspective, which is what I really need every day."
Rosemary, Middle School Counselor, NJ
Every registered user will be sent by email during the school year
the following Professional Support: 1) a weekly Just
For You message. These concise, thought-provoking messages
are written to foster professionalism, promote ethical and caring
leadership, boost morale, and improve classroom management. 2) Easy-to-implement,
high-quality character education materials. 3) Best practices and
uplifting stories shared by educators just for educators (Teacher's
Why does it work? (Program Evaluation)
Project Wisdom encourages students to reflect upon the meaning of civic and personal values and the application of those values
in their daily lives. Our data indicate reductions in discipline referrals as well as strong improvements in teacher morale, school
climate, and social-emotional competencies. Some evidence suggests that good character education raises student
grades and test scores.
Key Findings From Our Evaluation
- Decreases incidents of student teasing and/or bullying.
- Decreases discipline referrals to the office.
- Affects the school climate in a positive way.
- Has a positive impact on teacher morale.
- Increases students' self-awareness, social awareness, self-management,
relationship skills, and responsible decision making.
- Stimulates student conversation about character issues.
"The materials are very well written, easy to use, and it gives me a chance to reach 605 students every day with a nugget of wisdom to reflect on all day. Project Wisdom is responsive to what schools need, I can't say enough good things about this program."
Liz, Counselor, FL
Key Findings from Educator Resource Site (ERS)
- 99% indicate they enjoy receiving the weekly morale boosters.
- 92% indicate they enjoy reading the Teacher's Story.
- 91% indicate they enjoy the special-topic ERS broadcast messages.
- 97% indicate an overall satisfaction with this online service.
- 96% of all principals indicated they would recommend this site.
- Materials offered on the ERS are being used in advisory, homeroom, and character education classes; in the discipline process; during counseling sessions and other academic classes.
How is it being implemented?
Each school has a unique set of needs and expectations. Here are some of the many ways schools
across the country have implemented the program:
Principal narrates: On many of our campuses the principal narrates these character-building messages and
clearly establishes his or her role in terms of ethical and caring leadership. We are repeatedly told that narration
of these messages opens doors of communication between the principal and the student body.
Teachers or counselors narrate: Teachers and/or counselors have taken the job as narrators, communicating to
students that they care about the values fostered while generating meaningful conversation between them and students.
Community members narrate: We have many schools that invite parents, grandparents, and community members to
campus to narrate the messages. Some schools send students out into the community to pre-record community members. This
is a great way to involve the community in your character education initiative while sending a clear signal to students
that the community cares about the education of their hearts as well as their minds.
"Teachers often make positive comments about the Words of Wisdom. People from the community often comment positively about the Words of Wisdom when they are in the building."
Penny, Elementary Principal, OH
Celebrities narrate: At one of our middle schools in Virginia, a juvenile-court judge served as guest narrator
for an entire week. A former student who is now a professional football player also came to campus to narrate a message.
High school students in Kansas recorded the lieutenant governor of the state on video and then broadcast the message on
their in-house television system.
Mystery narrator: One of our schools has a "mystery narrator" once a week. They tell us there is always
a great deal of speculation about who the narrator will be.
Students narrate: On many campuses students serve as narrators. This is a great opportunity to foster leadership
and public-speaking skills. Some schools allow students to narrate as a reward for honorable behavior.
Everyone gets to narrate: On some campuses the role of narrator is shared by everyone on campus, including
custodians, cafeteria workers, and office workers. This is a great way to enlist the support of everyone on campus,
creating a greater sense of community.
What comes with the program?
Initial one-year, schoolwide subscription
When you order Series 1, your school becomes an officially-licensed Project Wisdom school. You
and your staff can then register for a year of online access to
the following three components of this nationally-recognized program.
Each component supports the other to help create a more safe, caring,
and effective school environment.
1) For the Campus - Project Wisdom Online Library of Daily
The centerpiece of the program is a series of thought-provoking inspirational messages that are
narrated over your PA or in-house television system. In just one
minute a day, you can reach every student and every staff member
with a few words of wisdom that will uplift and promote a more positive
and effective school climate. Series 1 comes with a year of online
access to 200+ proven-effective broadcast messages. You and your
staff will also have access to daily broadcast messages that have
been conveniently batched by weekly or monthly themes, journal pages,
quotation booklet, parent resources, white papers, and more. K12
schools have access to both elementary and secondary materials.
"Bullying is down. The students seem to be more accepting of one another's unique traits. They do not seem to be teasing and picking on one another as much. I am not having as much gossipy conversation."
Jill, High School Teacher, TN
2) For the Classroom - Easy-to-implement lesson plans
You and your entire staff will also have access for one year to our highly-rated and easy-to-implement
online collection of lesson plans. These materials help students
build character and develop social-emotional competencies while
addressing important and relevant issues such as bullying, cheating,
and academic achievement. Each plan contains thought-provoking discussion
generators and follow-up activities for each grade level (elementary)
or core academic area (secondary).
3) For Educators - Professional Support and Just For You messages
During the school year, every registered user will be sent by email the following weekly Professional
Support: 1) one of our highly-rated Just For You messages.
These concise, thought-provoking messages are written to foster
professionalism, promote ethical and caring leadership, boost morale,
and improve classroom management, and 2) featured easy-to-implement
lesson plans. Also throughout the school year, all registered users
receive a Teachers Story, best practices and uplifting stories
shared by educators just for educators.
At the end of your annual subscription, you may choose to print the materials for future use.
The online program also comes with:
Our weekly or monthly themes help establish a common "virtue vocabulary" on campus. Examples of themes include:
- Honesty and Integrity: Rules for Success
- Responsible Citizenship: Helping Others
- Role Models: Who's Influencing Whom?
- Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones?
- Wisdom: Educating the Human Heart
Teachers can create teachable moments throughout the day by using these words and themes.
Many of our schools post these themes on their marquees and main
bulletin boards. Many schools communicate the upcoming themes to
parents through newsletters and homework hotlines so they can be
reinforced at home. Counselors and staff can use the words and themes
in guidance sessions, detention, and in-house suspension.
Ten Wise Choices (FREE)
Rules for living as a positive and productive citizen of the world.
Wise Choices for a Comprehensive Character Education Initiative
A mini-guide for creating a comprehensive character education initiative on your campus. Our daily messages provide an
effective springboard for such an initiative. This guide provides suggestions for creating a pool of support and resources
that will greatly improve results.
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