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Hawthorne Elementary Supports Good Character

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – In Hawthorne Elementary School, principal Jerry Schulman made it an important factor to include character and behavior lessons in the students’ curriculum.

“At this age, it’s so important to establish good behavior and show students how they’re supposed to act when they come to school,” Schulman said.

As part of this goal, Schulman has instituted a ‘Citizen of the Month’ award, where two students from each class in the three grade levels are nominated by their teacher for outstanding behavior.  The students receive a certificate and ribbon for their achievement and have their picture publicized in the hallway.

Schulman said that this incentive based program has been a major hit among the students.

“They love it, it’s a huge deal they all want to get that ribbon and see their picture hanging up,” Schulman said.  “The goal is that we want to have every student featured once,”

This past week, Hawthorne Elementary held its annual “Character Counts Week”, where teachers in each grade level taught students specific ways that they should act in environments such as the school bus, playground and cafeteria.  On Thursday, students were encouraged to wear some sort of red clothing to make a pledge that they promote good character in and out of school.

Although the week especially urged the students to promote good character, Schulman said it is important that this initiative lasts throughout the year as he saw the effects of bullying and other social issues while previously acting as the principal at Westlake Middle School.

“The students need to know how to act socially and what the difference between right and wrong is.  You don’t have to be everyone’s friend, but you should treat everyone with respect” Schulman said.  “A student doesn’t know how to interact socially, they’re not really going to be prepared to learn,”

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