Individuals are not born with good character. Good character is learned through direct teaching from those around us and by watching how others behave.
The CHARACTER COUNTS! program is an ethics education program that people of all cultures, races and religious affiliations can embrace. Which way our youth turn in life depends on the guidance of adult role models. Community leaders, local governments, school systems, nonprofit organizations, youth groups and individuals must join together in order to stand for values in today’s society.
The CHARACTER COUNTS! program enables adults to teach the Six Pillars of Character – responsibility, respect, caring, fairness, trustworthiness and citizenship – in ways that children of all ages can understand. This program provides a unified approach, which, in and of itself strengthens the program.
Gaithersburg began the CHARACTER COUNTS! program in February 1996 with a commitment to bring it to every child in the City. The City’s largest event was held in May of that year with a special kickoff presentation, featuring special guest speaker and CHARACTER COUNTS! program founder Michael Josephson. An attendance of more than 700 people of all ages proved how hungry the community was to learn more about the program. CHARACTER COUNTS! did not start and end with parents and their children. Businesses and other community organizations, large and small, embraced the program and have joined the City’s effort.
The Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council have incorporated CHARACTER COUNTS! into the City’s mission statement and vision. City leaders are committed to teaching ethics education to young people, citizens and business leaders. The City has trained people from many different organizations to help teach CHARACTER COUNTS! and the Six Pillars of Character to children and others in the community that want to learn and live by the base values the program endorses.
The City is striving to build a consensus in the community that no matter how diverse opinions, cultures and personalities are, there are clear values that define people at their best. The City promotes respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, trustworthiness and citizenship and endeavors to repair mistakes where these values have faltered.
If you would like more information about CHARACTER COUNTS!, please contact the City’s Community Services Division at 301-258-6395 x3 or email@example.com, or the new subcommittee of the Educational Enrichment Committee, that has now been formed to look at revitalization of the CHARACTER COUNTS! program in the City.
CHARACTER COUNTS! and the Six Pillars logo are service marks of the National CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, a project of the Josephson Institute.
The National CHARACTER COUNTS! Home Page - www.charactercounts.org
Thank you to our CHARACTER COUNTS! Program Partners for supporting the CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarship program and our many CHARACTER COUNTS! activities:
- Asbury Methodist Village and Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative
- W. Edward Bohrer, Jr. Memorial CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarship Fund Donors
- City of Gaithersburg Student Union
- Covenant Life Church
- DRS Signal Solutions
- Gaithersburg Educational Enrichment Committee
- Gaithersburg Rotary Club
- The Gazette Newspapers
- Lakeforest Shopping Center
- Montgomery Village Rotary Club
- Rodgers Consulting
- Peterson Companies and the Washingtonian Center
- The following Gaithersburg area schools:
- Gaithersburg, Rosemont, Summit Hall, Washington Grove, Strawberry Knoll, Goshen, Laytonsville, Fields Road, Brown Station, Rachel Carson, Thurgood Marshall, Watkins Mill, South Lake, DuFief, Stone Mill, Diamond Elementary Schools and St Martins School.
- Forest Oak, Gaithersburg, Lakelands Park, Montgomery Village, and Ridgeview Middle Schools.
- Gaithersburg, Quince Orchard, Northwest and Watkins Mill High Schools.
CHARACTER COUNTS! is based on the six pillars of character, universal traits that help lay a strong ethical foundation. We invite you to celebrate a pillar each day. Incorporate the concepts into your work day, in the classroom, in the community, in the playground, and at home.
Be honest • Don’t cheat • Be reliable - do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal - stand by your family, friends, and country
Follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant • Accept differences • Use good manners • Be considerate of others • Don’t threaten anyone • Deal peacefully with disagreements
Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere • Do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act • Be accountable for your words • Set a good example
Play by the rules • Listen to others • Take turns and share • Be open-minded • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame carelessly • Treat everyone fairly
Be kind • Be compassionate • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help those in need
Make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved • Stay informed • Vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment • Volunteer