Elementary students in the Corry Area School District have begun the school year with seven important lessons — courage, loyalty, justice, respect, hope, honesty and love.

From now until June, teachers and parents will work with students to practice those attributes in hopes of setting the foundation for brave, fair, honest and caring adults.

The curriculum is called the Heartwood Approach, a character education program adopted by Corry, Conelway, Columbus and Spartansburg elementary schools.

“It’s a multicultural literature-based program,” said Holly Trauner, elementary counselor at Conelway and Spartansburg elementaries, who researched and selected this program for the district. “Our thought behind the program is that we want to get the whole community involved. Because, it’s not just here that students need to have respect, it’s also in the community.”

Each school will use a wide variety of activities and educational materials to help children understand the importance of a moral education.

“We hope that by offering this program throughout our school it will help students to become responsible and caring students and community members,” said Corry Elementary School Assistant Principal Katie Lackey.

The program was created by teachers more than a decade ago, and today about 2,000 schools in 40 states are practicing the Heartwood Approach, according to the nonprofit organization’s Web site, www.heartwoodethics.org.

See the Journal's Thursday, September 3rd edition for full story.

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