CHARACTER DAY FOR EDUCATORS:
Thank you for being part of the global Character Day initiative! Below are some ideas to help you create your own Character Day, based on how much time you have, age range (K-12 to university/adults), and more. Keep in mind that while Character Day is one day, the resources are available year-round, and many educators use Character Day as a way to launch year-round programming. Questions? Ideas? Email the Director of Partnerships and Engagement, Makenzie Darling at email@example.com.
Suggested places to hold Character Day events:
Individual Classrooms, Auditorium, Lecture Halls, Homerooms, Cafeteria, Gymnasium, After School Programs, Special Assemblies, Wellness Centers, Clubs, Sorority and Fraternities, Departments, Libraries, Different Locations on Campus
Sample 40 Minute Event:
- 5 mins: Introduce Character Day
- 10 mins: Watch The Science of Character film (or The Adaptable Mind, 30,000 Days, or The Making of a Mensch)
- 20 mins: Use the Periodic Table of Character Strengths and questions from the discussion kits (appropriate age range)
- 5 Mins: Wrap Up
Sample 60 Minute Event:
- Add to the above: join a 20 minute global Q&A session hosted by educators and thought leaders.
General Event suggestions:
- Watch any combination of the four films: The Science of Character (8 mins), The Adaptable Mind (10 mins), 30,000 Days, or The Making of a Mensch (10 mins).
- Use the provided discussion kits, which include a poster of the Periodic Table of Character Strengths, questions, quotes, and discussion guides for different ages (ages 4-99+).
- Participate in the Character Day Global Google Hangout where experts talk about different SEL topics.
- Find other resources in the Education Resource Hub, including lesson plans, curriculum,articles, books, websites, apps, games, or films around different character strengths. (You may also download the Character (Every) Day app)
- Do a community service project.
- Use Character Day to launch year-round programming, such as exploring a different character strength each week or month, or having a writing exercise each week about overall character development.
- Invite a speaker or panel of thought leaders to come talk about character.
- (K-12): Invite parents to join in the event (send a letter home).
- (K-12): Come up with a school declaration of what you plan to do to improve character for the remainder of the school year and have students sign it.
- (University): Tie in Character Day to your student’s papers, research, and presentations
- (University): Have various departments on campus take different character strengths. For instance, have the English department read an excerpt from Hamlet and talk about that specific tragic hero and what character strengths he did or did not portray.
Ways to market your event:
- Use the Character Day Toolkit for any language (social media, email, posters, etc) you will need!
- The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education unanimously declared Character Day throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Resolution further encourages LAUSD schools and central office divisions to be part of the global initiative by signing up and by sharing the work LAUSD students and staff create, including photos, videos, and artwork, to be highlighted on the LAUSD’s website. Resolutions like this help District-wide campaigns become embedded in the culture of the District.
- Share the 1 minute trailer on social media and in emails. Post Character Day on your website
- (K-12) Have your entire school district sign up at www.characterday.org. Then have someone (ideally Superintendent or Associate Superintendent) send an email blast to everyone
- Tell Principals and Guidance Counselors about the event, encouraging them to sign up individually (this way they will get information from the Character Day Producer as the event gets closer).
- (K-12) When an entire district on boards for Character Day, The Character Day Producer will do a webinar or a professional development session with your entire Administration (email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule)
- These PD sessions typically happen in late July, which is optimal for back to school gearing up to Character Day.
- (K-12) Send letters home to parents to invite them to participate on September 13th!
- Mention Character Day at Parent Teacher Conferences and Back to School Pep Rally’s and events.
- (K-12) Reach out to other schools and districts in your area to see if they would like to participate as well….making it more of a county wide initiative. This could also allow you to pull together resources and make a bigger impact.
- (University) Send an email blast to individual departments to get them on board.
- (University) Work closely with the Health and Wellness Center on Campus who can disseminate the information as needed.
- (University) Make sure to reserve rooms and lecture halls ahead of time to ensure bookings.
- (Unveristy) Connect with other Universities in your network to get them involved and have a bigger impact.
- (University) Reach out to Sororities, Fraternities, and Clubs on campus to get them to host their own events.
- (University) Reach out to the Character Day Producer Makenzie Darling to hold a special webinar for your University.
- (K12 and University) Make a short video or do a Facebook Live at your Character Day event! Please use this Best Practices guide which will give you useful tips. Send your video to email@example.com and you may be featured during Character Days programming!