Building the Character First! – Bringing the US National Core Values – into the World
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Building the Character First! – Bringing the US National Core Values – into the World
Publication type
Victoria Howell 
Occupation: Communications Director
Affiliation: The Gap, Inc.
Address: The United States of America, Oklahoma City
Esther Staddon
Occupation: Curriculum Developer
Affiliation: Character Education
Address: The United States of America, Salem
Ekaterina Belotsvetova
Occupation: Scientific Secretary
Affiliation: Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The purpose of an article is to introduce and bring back to the roots the minds of people who seek to rich the aims they set for themselves without breaking the world’s established high standards, morals or principles that govern every day peoples’ lives at home, in jobs, large enterprises, or public institutions. Such is the aim of the Character First! Education started in 1992, as a leadership development program in Oklahoma City, USA.

Keen notions made by authors throughout the article provide vivid illustrations of how peoples’ thinking processes and the mental capacities can be guided by the character that is timely taught. The earlier the age of a person, the better one can embrace the values, which are to be daily fostered in themselves, i.e. building the character. A man of character can achieve the highest results that last, bringing benefits to many and winning hearts of the nations. 

The Character development program proved its efficiency and spread far beyond the US boarders, reaching out to families, schools, universities, enterprises, public institutions, and governmental bodies around the world.

It has been tested with hammer and chisel that Character educated people, united by the world’s established high moral values, are able to build stronger understanding among others, they can see deeper and evaluate situations in much more precise way, and come out with greater sound solutions in most vulnerable times and exceptional circumstances.


character training, character qualities, character evaluation, building character, character leaders, man of character, building relationships, friendships and partnerships, values, morals, learning, education
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                                                                   Building the Character First! –

                                                Bringing the US National Core Values into the World


                                                                                                              ‘If You’ve Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything’ –                                                                                                                        Ann Crittenden, US author of the like-named book,                                                                                  a former economics reporter for the NYTimes and a Pulitzer Prize nominee,                                                                        a reporter for Fortune, a financial writer and foreign correspondent for Newsweek,                                                                                                                           and an occasional commentator for CBS News1


1. Ann Crittenden. If You’ve Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything. / Gottham. Oct. 2005, p. 288.

Character is defined and taught                                                                          


Successfully proved over the time, fostering education skills translate to almost any type of job skills and life situations. Such transferable skills imply multitasking, accurate planning, diplomatic approach, and the ability to function amidst constant distractions. They help enhance interpersonal skills, from effective negotiation to dealing with difficult people, and develop skills in motivation and encouraging others to excel. They teach us a keen sense of fair play and integrity by establishing proper partnerships and communications in different environments.

4 We would not be able to reach out to anyone without owing to the skills we develop throughout our growth, learning, education, stewardship, leadership, and, at last, parenthood. It is hard to imagine an average citizen in any part of the world who never went through any of these levels of human intellectual fermentation that we come across in our lives and what makes us understand each other and socialize better in any place and circumstances.
5 Talking about management, referring back to above epigraph ‘… You Can Manage Anything’, many organizations around the USA have developed what can be called a “values-based” management strategy by focusing, first and foremost, on Character! It is character that sets aside the American quality from other produce of the world, what makes it distinct from other countries and nations and, as a matter of fact, most wanted.
6 Based on such “values oriented management strategy” those companies have even proved that their strategy – built upon character – can build values in itself, nurture, and transform a culture and, furthermore, the nation. They found they can improve not only their bottom line, but also the company’s relationships – with customers, employees, vendors, the environment, and the world at large.
7 You should ask what character is? The reply would always be the same and imagine, never changing! The scholastic definition of character is the qualities build into an individual’s life that determine his or her response, regardless of the circumstances. Simpler definition – character is about conscience, doing the right things, nurturing good habits, and building the virtues of individuals and teams. Character dictates noble purpose aimed for success. All humans are made with desire for success and to be virtuous. This is almost a natural inclination to seem to be good. But to prove you can do it and be good in real, you should build the character, at first.
8 Bearing it all in mind, it would be worth to start with introducing the history line of the same named educational program “Character First!” that spread out to almost every state in the United States of America and has proved its overall effectiveness.

Character first: education


Character training began in 1992, as a leadership development program at Kimray Inc., an Oklahoma City-based premier manufacturing company of “Made in the USA” oil and gas equipment and controls. Every month, Kimray employees would study a different character trait and how it related to corporate values such as honesty, quality, safety, and service. Kimray has grown from two employees to over 550; from a few hundred square feet in an old renovated grocery store to 400,000 in the Santa Fe Industrial area of Oklahoma City; and from one distributor to 30 distributors spread across 15 countries, serving virtually every oil and gas field around the globe. It made such a difference in their workplace culture that in 1996, local school and police officials asked if Character First could be adapted to public2.

2. Tom Hill with Walter Jenkins. Making Character First. / Character First Publishers, LLC. 2010, p. 189; >>> .
10 Thanks to initiative of one outstanding Sgt. Clarence Powers, a community relations officer with the police department, who was assigned to the Oklahoma City Public Schools and once contacted the Oklahoma County District Attorney, the character training came into Oklahoma public schools. But it was rather lengthy process to have a character program developed and approved for use in public schools. Before consideration by a school system, a complete program for the entire nine-month school year was assembled and presented at the meeting with the superintendant of Oklahoma City Public Schools. First year, the Character First was admitted as pilot project in eight Oklahoma City schools and within three years the character was taught in 40 schools. Over the years, the character leaders, teaching the character curriculum, have worked in 60 of the 63 elementary schools in the Oklahoma City Public Schools system.

Statistically, in recent days, due to certain state education reforms, Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) have reduced the number of neighborhood elementary schools down to 33 (it still has 13 middle schools, 9 high schools, 2 alternative schools, and 9 charter schools). It is a multi-cultural district serving approximately 45,000 students, whereas 18,000 of students are bilingual and 13,000 are English Language Learners3.

3. Oklahoma City Public Schools. >>> .

In order to see the Character First program at work we could draw on the background survey conveyed by the Austin Peters Group, Inc.4 that was hired as the outside evaluator for the project in Topeka, Kansas USD 501 School District in 2003-2007, awarded a “Partnership in Character Education” grant funded through the US Department of Education.

4. The Austin Peters Group, Inc. >>> .
13 Character First! Organization was one of the partners on the original grant proposal submitted to the US Department of Education and worked closely with Topeka USD 501 school officials throughout the four years. Character First! materials, produced by the Character Training Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were used as the primary education teaching curriculum.

In addition to the curriculum, Character First! provided professional development training to teachers and school counselors throughout the district. During the 2004-2005 school year, it worked jointly with Topeka Capitol Journal newspaper to develop specialized “tabs” to be inserted into newspapers and delivered to schools through the Newspapers in Education program. The “tab” was to help students learn and develop good character qualities by studying historical figures and current events. To better achieve the desired result the Character First! developed 4-page “Student Guides” for elementary, intermediate, and advanced students that became very popular and helped advance the character initiative5.

5. Kansas State Department of Education. >>> ; >>> .
15 The Austin Peters Group, Inc. studied eight core areas: academic achievement, generosity, parental involvement, quality of life, responsibility, self confidence, truth, and work ethic. The Character Education student survey was administered annually in February or March to 4th, 7th and 9th graders, whereas the younger and older grades showed rather average results on the eight core areas survey. However, the 7th grade students have shown impressive gains across the board in all areas over the four years. These gains were a reason to celebrate given the challenges in middle school! A similar survey was regularly conveyed in other namely speaking “Cities of Character” and, of course, in the heartland of Character First! – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Character under law


The success to Character training was guaranteed also by the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, that created the Partnerships in Character Education Pilot Project (Pilot Project; see Sec. 10103) and authorized up to a total of 10 grants annually to state education agencies (SEAs) for the design and implementation of character education projects. The Pilot Project program was supported by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the US Department of Education6.

6. Partnerships in Character Education State Pilot Projects, 1995–2001. Lessons learned. // US Department of Education. Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. 2008; >>> .
17 As the reputation of the Character First proved its efficiency, it expanded rapidly throughout the American states. The Pilot Project also provided funding for SEAs to join with local schools, parents, students and communities to design and implement character education projects. Under the Pilot Project, program grants were awarded to 45 states and the District of Columbia. The pilot projects were initiated across the country from 1995 to 2001, with the most recent of the five-year grants ending in 2006. Many of the programs funded by these grants continue today.
18 As a continuing example, the at Washington D.C. has been certifying schools for 20+ years based on their implementation of the principles of effective character. At that time, more than 800 National Schools of Character, State Schools of Character, Districts of Character, Mexico Schools of Character and China Schools of Character have been certified. More than 3 million educators, students, parents and other community members have improved their lives and the lives of those around them by fostering character development through Schools of Character and resources.
19 The Character education could boast its full support from the legislation that included a specification that the states must involve parents, students and members of the community in the design and implementation of grant projects. It also called for comprehensive evaluations of programs developed by grantees. The law specified certain elements of character to be the focus of grant projects and deemed it important that local communities define those elements. These elements as listed in the law are: caring, civic virtue and citizenship, justice, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness. These traits could be supplemented by other elements identified at the local level. The legislation required that character education be integrated into the curriculum and called for the training of teachers. The state agencies were required to provide technical assistance to local education agencies (LEAs) in implementing character education. Additionally, the legislation called for grantees to establish state clearinghouses to provide information on model programs, materials and other resources that SEAs and LEAs could use in implementing character education.

For example, as it appears in 2019 Florida Statutes, it is clearly stated under 1003.42 Required instruction — “(2) Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historical accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following: (s) A character development program in the elementary schools, similar to Character First or Character Counts, which is secular in nature. Beginning in school year 2004-2005, the character development program shall be required in kindergarten through grade 12. Each district school board shall develop or adopt a curriculum for the character development program that shall be submitted to the department for approval. The character development curriculum shall stress the qualities of patriotism; responsibility; citizenship; kindness; respect for authority, life, liberty, and personal property; honesty; charity; self-control; racial, ethnic, and religious tolerance; and cooperation. The character development curriculum for grades 9 through 12 shall, at a minimum, include instruction on developing leadership skills, interpersonal skills, organization skills, and research skills; creating a resume; developing and practicing the skills necessary for employment interviews; conflict resolution, workplace ethics, and workplace law; managing stress and expectations; and developing skills that enable students to become more resilient and self-motivated”7.

7. 2019 Florida Statutes: K-20 Education Code ( title XLVIII ): Public K-12 Education (chapter 1003) >>> .

Applying the character education


Speaking about aims and results, it is necessary first to confer the 49 character qualities that were keenly defined by the Character First! program initiators at Kimray Inc., Oklahoma (see the Appendix). Although the number of character traits has never meant to be limited, it was exactly the number found sufficient enough for building the personal character in a four year period, if given that each character quality is studied for a month. Secondly, it would be worthy of illustrating how the character qualities were used and, finally, explain the benefits of demonstrating the character quality at work, school or on a daily life basis.

22 Stepping into life with new understanding of things you are doing and especially your approach to it, make you realize that once read or learned lesson of a character quality does not necessarily mean you have managed to master it. The truth is the character development is never complete. It is life-long journey that needs repetitions until you notice that it became as part of your mind, almost like a habit. If the above definitions are generally designed for mature groups of people, there are also slightly easier definitions made fit for younger ones and their age group.
23 Illustration of the character quality implies praise. A person or a child would not realize when it is well done, if not praised. The motivation to do right will increase every time you are being credited for it or praised with the sound words. So, it is important to give an illustration of how the person demonstrated the quality. Praising for character may not come naturally or easily for many of us. In fact, rather than looking for the good in others, we have been taught to look for mistakes and correct them. This makes us appear to be critical and negative, rather than positive and encouraging. The character qualities definitions are used as a guide to recognize the rights and wrongs in person’s behavior. It is the tool to be used at home, at schools or at work for the supervisors or those above you. It is also a key instrument in building the lasting friendships and partnerships.
24 Explaining the benefits is the third step in praising for character by telling how words, actions, or attitudes have positively impacted others. It may often seem that younger children would not understand and appreciate praise when we use “grownup” words like diligence, determination, thoroughness, and cautiousness. But you will find out that their response would beat as if a light were turned on inside their little faces. They may not understand the meaning of the words at first, but they sense the approval and quickly learn the character qualities and the actions that elicit positive recognition and praise. Employees, co-workers, and spouses respond the same way. They may not be as transparent as children, but they beam on the inside.
25 Learning to recognize and praise for character is not difficult, but it requires commitment. It is easier to be committed when you understand the remarkable impact on others. Moreover, the emotional impact can result in saving on compensation and medical insurance costs for the employees in business industries. Careless attitude can cause tremendous work-related injuries that result in higher insurance costs and workers’ compensations. After implementing the Character First curriculum the companies’ management may come to reevaluate the factors of greater importance. Rather than focusing on profits and losses, the companies change their focus to employees making them feel more valued, raising their alertness and attentiveness at work. The emphasis on character can dramatically decrease turnover, absenteeism, and tardiness.
26 Traditionally, supervisors focus on the negative, rather than addressing the root cause of employment issues. However, recognizing and praising for character creates positive relationships with employees. Emphasizing character can give a company or organization a powerful recruiting tool – and a competitive advantage that could result in its attractiveness not only for employees, but for all stakeholders, as its final goal.

Another dazzling example of character effectiveness was many times demonstrated at the custodian institutions, such as jails, delinquent detention and correctional centers. Bringing down under control juvenile delinquents, murderers, rebels, and drug addicts is a very bold task and rather impelling. The misconducts, assaults, felonies, misdemeanors, and other acts of crime nature can end up in whatever one can even hardly imagine. In many cases, it was the character training that helped restore the order and proper conduct among the inmates, and stop them from committing any property damages or injuries to the health of others8.

8. Cliff Urnaga and Argyl Dick. Chaplaincy Group Teams With Detention to Address Spiritual Needs and Character. // LJN Exchange (2005): 25-28.
28 Holding on to Oklahoma experience, the state’s incarcerated women rate is at nearly twice the national average. This has a huge impact on families, as well as other tax-paying citizens. If Oklahoma reduced the number of female inmates to the national average, it would save the state over $18 million per year. Almost two-thirds of the women who are sentenced to prison have at least one child under the age of 18. This means that thousands of children are separated from their mothers, most of who are placed into foster care and onto welfare rolls – i.e. uprooted from their homes. The most violent offences committed among the women are manslaughter, murder, armed robbery, or drug dealing. Most are hurt, angry, and resentful. Many of these women are repeat offenders and face long, mandatory sentences, thus having little incentive to behave well.
29 Noticing alarming trends, such as younger and younger girls were being incarcerated, the prison’s administration at Mabel Basset Correctional Center (Oklahoma) decided to take initiative in wanting to help the women break the cycle of recidivism and to create a safer prison environment. The new intense and extensive program on character required no one to attend the training. In fact, every interested woman had to apply to participate, and she was then interviewed thoroughly to see if she was serious about changing her life.
30 Two hundred women were eventually accepted into the first class. Since prison officials were concerned that if the accepted women were allowed to mingle with prisoners who were not receiving character training, and the culture of negative character is heavily engrained in the prison system, these women were separated from the rest of the prison population and placed in nicknamed “character pods.” The women attended classes 30 hours a week for 15 months, so to allow make change in the mindset of the women and give them the freedom to choose new attitudes, thoughts, and actions.

The impact of the training at Mabel Basset Correctional Center has been dramatic. One year after the training started, the number of misconduct assaults has dropped to nearly 60 percent. The most serious or “class X” offenses that involve possessing contraband, fighting with guards, and injuring other inmates dropped at an even more amazing rate – over 80 percent. The results continued as women completed the training and returned to general population of the prison, following to demonstrate for a year or more the effect of character training. The women have learned new ways to deal with their issues, and there is a waiting list to join the program. It has given the inmates purpose and direction, most importantly – it has given the hope9.

9. Bill Sherman. Faith Builds Character. / Tulsa World, December 18, 2008.

Public schools’ safety


Another most vulnerable among criminal cases in recent US times is its public schools’ safety. Many people are not longer safe to send their children to schools, scarily thinking that a child might not come back home. Schools are no more a safe haven for children. By entering the front steps of a school building a child or a parent must show its identity, often pass through metal detectors. The exits are controlled and allowed only after having been signed out by a parent. Once the child is inside the school, there are still numerous challenges to face, including drugs, violence, and bullying. As a result, many schools have hired police officers to patrol the hallways and to act as liaisons with students. Part of their job is to get to know the students – to help students feel comfortable talking with the officers when help was needed.

33 Not to mention numerous cases of long-time problem of child severe abuse, more regulations come into force in the US public schools and increase after each new derailing insulting incident. Teachers and children are forbidden to use the same bathrooms. Teachers must never be alone with a child and must always remain within sight of other adults. Teachers are not to solicit affection or touch children in anger. Due to recent high-tech often incomprehensible opportunities, no pictures or photos with a child face or appearance on it are allowed to be posted on social media that may show school name, day, time, location, and name of a kid without special permission. Any personal information of a child (like home address, phone number, family situations, etc.) should be strictly communicated only from the parent or guardian. The list of restrictions is not limited and can be elaborated in time because of the growing number of highly unwanted precedents, therefore, making Character training in public schools more important.
34 Recent tragically devastating incidents in many public high schools around the United States have shown negative trend towards worsening of personal and emotional conditions in students at their breaking age between 15 to 20 years old. Most horrifying episodes with mass gun-shooting that happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, Umpqua Community College in Oregon in 2015, Marshall County High School in Kentucky in 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in 2018, Santa Fe High School in Texas in 2018, have brought many American families and government officials to reconsider the value of character education. It has proved again that character training is a life-long process, which effects should last not just for a year or two, but must be performed continuously to help keep the right focus, so “to not lose the vision”.

As one of cheering examples, it was in 2012, when Scarlett Lewis who lost her 6-year-old son Jesse in the Newtown, CT Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting decided to process her grief differently by choosing to focus on living with compassion and forgiveness in Jesse’s memory. While Americans cried in anguish and shouted in anger at the violence of another mass shooting, she determined that by offering every child more love and understanding , more leadership and empathy, she would help educators, parents, and students create caring communities. For six years, Scarlett has championed character development and social-emotional learning, becoming one of the board members for one of national character development nonprofits that provide resources and coaching for schools, organizations, and individuals. Scarlett founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement and has worked diligently all over the U.S.10

10. Heather Cazad. Schools of Character’ Demonstrate a Path to Education Reform. // Erraticus. Jan. 12, 2019. >>> .

Becoming a good example to others, having a compassionate heart for the children, should not necessarily come out of such a grim life experience, as a loss of a loved one. A character leader can become anyone who wants to change the lives11 of others and to impact the community by its good works and volunteering.

11. Dr. Howard Hendricks. Teaching to Change Lives. / Multnomah, New York. 1987. P. 152.

Learning to stand in the gap - raising character leaders


Developed on the foundations of the Character First! Education (CF!E) program In The Gap non-profit organization, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is one of the leading experts in preparing future character leaders to teach character in the national public schools, since 199712. Teaching the character is not an easy task. It is a real challenge to be a valuable role model to others, in particular, to younger generations.

12. In The Gap. >>>
38 Besides having a level of expertise in any area of science or research field, a person must and foremost have been able to develop a strong character. A character is a beginning of everything, a “cornerstone”, which is also the name for a week-long intense preparatory course of CF!E leaders in training. It can be very attractive to others and it is also quite natural that people like to be around strong personalities that have proved their character matters. Everyone needs a leader who could help you to get on a right way and not to get off the road at the mean point on time. Nobody likes to look frustrated or lose a sense of a situation. We all like clarity and definitions.
39 Main mission of In The Gap is to educate highly profiled volunteers and its staff through the CF!E curriculum to encourage children to develop positive character traits, when if applied while still young, these character traits will help develop their ability to govern themselves, have personal integrity, and become effective leaders for tomorrow. Most of volunteers are young students or graduates of high schools and colleges. The working principle is such: the younger the volunteer – the easier is a teen communication in overcoming the peer’s pressure.
40 In the Gap training is conducted through its community programs for children – Character Education in public schools and after-school Bible Clubs. Because child abuse is prevalent in modern society the organization takes extra care to avoid any appearance of misconduct, operates with the highest level of integrity based on the Biblical morals and principles, and acts in full compliance with the policies set by the Department of Human Services.
41 Tightly corresponding to the school schedules, teaching character does not prevent students from doing their normal class work. When character training is fully integrated into a school, teachers will teach character by example and will praise for character daily. This improves the culture in schools, without diverting class time.

Becoming a National School of Character is no simple feat – just as becoming a character leader! The school must not only effectively implement certain criteria within the classrooms, on the sports fields, and at home; stakeholders must prove they have done so through a rigorous application process with narrative, quantitative data, and interviews13.

13. Child Protection Policy. In The Gap. >>> .

The work of school and of character leaders is challenging, and it takes most schools 3-5 years to fully embed their practices before reaching National School of Character status. It is also true that the character is considered to be best learned at the age of 6 to 8, as most chaotic and challenging years. However, counting for the most tragic sceneries of lives lost, the US education system could possibly aim more persistently to bringing character lessons not only to elementary but also to higher schools, colleges, and universities program settings.

44 Sometimes, it is hard to measure the impact that character education has on a particular school or organization. However, once the program was implemented at Oklahoma City, it was accepted into schools across the country and there were numerous positive evaluations from teachers around the world.

Character Walks the World


Character First! educational curriculum is now used in over 34 countries. Some of its tuition materials have been translated into at least 12 languages that represent an incredibly broad range of cultures and nations interested in bringing the change into the world. Other than that, the curriculum is transformational because it is based on human nature and meets universal needs. It helps people fulfill their natural desire to please those they respect – and to receive adequate recognition and appreciation.

46 First, the founder of the program Tom Hill was concerned that the CF!E would not work in other countries and that the success was due solemnly to the culture of the United States. However, his worries were slowly diluted as international community started to accept the curriculum and the powerful, positive impact became evident. It is no matter what racial, gender, geographical places people originate from, but if a person is able to apply the principles of good character, it will be much easier making better decisions that foster success.
47 Not surprisingly, but the first positive recognition was received in the neighboring Mexico that was also later won in Costa Rica and other countries of Central and Latin America. It was one of the largest independent food distributors outside the United States that wanted to represent and distribute premium-quality food products and ingredients holding on to the strong values set for the employees, suppliers, and customers by transmitting sober character based business values. Many at the industry have testified later that the importance of character is not revealed until a person has faced difficulties, crisis, and adversity.

The character courses are not limited only to business industries in Mexico. There is a rather large educational platform designed to counsel students and families, businesses and governments, religious communities, as well as health and security sectors14. The work in Mexico is grounded on the necessity to foster character through strong morals that were vividly demonstrated in the lives of many outstanding personalities, like Martin Luther King, Jr. who once proclaimed his dream “that one day his children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”15The multi-racial aspects of character education help erase any boundaries in peoples’ communication, raising esteem for one another, desire to become close friends despite the distances and gaps in continents.

14. Character First México. Generación de trabajo en equipo para mejorar la comunicación. >>> .

15. Martin Luther King, Jr. has delivered his speech on 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. >>> .
49 Crossing over the Pacific Ocean to another continent of Asia the Character First education program went first into Taipei, Taiwan, and then made the dreams come true for many people in Australia, China, Malaysia, and even reaching to the very heart of the African continent – the South Africa. Gaining wholesome support from the national governments the CF!E has extended its offices far beyond the American Continent by teaching character in public schools, higher educational institutions, and businesses. Another curious notion about the importance of character – Taiwan was just the beginning of Character First’s influence in Asia. Since then, the program’s seminars were conducted in Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, and China, establishing new Character outreaches.

There is a strong hope that one day Russia will also join in the efforts to become as a new Character family member that will finally make it possible to press the “Reset” button in the bilateral Russia-US relationships16 and open the doors to the higher morals and values that sometimes surpass common understanding, standard rules, established laws, regulations and practices. Understanding the character values opens new horizons to visualize the future, choose the right way in dealing with the most difficult situations in times of crisis and adversities.

16. In 2009, the Obama administration has been talking about “pressing the reset button” in the US-Russian relationships. Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greeted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva and presented a small green box that had inside a red button with the Russian word “peregruzka” printed on it. Ironically, there was a typo made in Russian that meant ‘overcharged’, which intended to mean ‘reset’ in English. >>> .

As the epigraphic beginning made a notion that continued throughout the article, it would be most logical to conclude that if peoples of the nations help foster common character values in children, they will be able to manage any thing.

                                                                                                                                                  Appendix (приложение)

            Character Qualities Definitions in Alphabetical Order and Their Oppositions17:

Alertness vs. Carelessness Being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.
Attentiveness vs. Distraction Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration.
Availability vs. Self-Centeredness Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve.
Benevolence vs. Selfishness Giving to others’ basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.
Boldness vs. Fear Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.
Cautiousness vs. Rashness Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions.
Compassion vs. Indifference Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.
Contentment vs. Covetousness Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions.
Creativity vs. Underachievement Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.
Decisiveness vs. Decisiveness The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.
Deference vs. Rudeness Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me.
Dependability vs. Inconsistency Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
Determination vs. Faintheartedness Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.
Diligence vs. Laziness Investing my time and energy to compete each task assigned to me.
Discernment vs. Shortsightedness Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen.
Discretion vs. Recklessness Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences.
Endurance vs. Despair The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best.
Enthusiasm vs. Apathy Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.
Faith vs. Ignorance Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how.
Flexibility vs. Stubbornness Willingness to change plans or ideas without getting upset.
Forgiveness vs. Rejection Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge.
Generosity vs. Stinginess Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need.
Gentleness vs. Harshness Showing consideration and personal concern for others.
Gratefulness vs. Presumption Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefited by life.
Honor vs. Disrespect Respecting others because of their worth as human beings.
Hospitality vs. Loneliness Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or conversation to benefit others.
Humility vs. Arrogance Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life.
Initiative vs. Idleness Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
Joyfulness vs. Self-Pity Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions.
Justice vs. Corruption Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true.
Loyalty vs. Unfaithfulness Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve.
Meekness vs. Rage Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve.
Obedience vs. Rebellion Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me.
Orderliness vs. Confusion Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.
Patience vs. Restlessness Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it.
Persuasiveness vs. Contentiousness Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks.
Punctuality vs. Tardiness Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time.
Resourcefulness vs. Wastefulness Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard.
Responsibility vs. Unreliability Knowing and doing what is expected of me.
Security vs. Worry Structuring my life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away.
Self-Control vs. Self-Indulgence Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right.
Sensitivity vs. Callousness Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me.
Sincerity vs. Hypocrisy Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.
Thoroughness vs. Incompleteness Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.
Thriftiness vs. Extravagance Allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary.
Tolerance vs. Hostility Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development.
Truthfulness vs. Dishonesty Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.
Virtue vs. Vice The moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.
Wisdom vs. Foolishness Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.
17. Tom Hill with Walter Jenkins. Making Character First. Appendix / Character First Publishers, LLC. 2010, p. 189.


1. Ann Crittenden. If You’ve Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything. / Gottham. Oct. 2005, p. 288.

2. Tom Hill with Walter Jenkins. Making Character First. / Character First Publishers, LLC. 2010, p. 189;

3. Oklahoma City Public Schools.

4. The Austin Peters Group, Inc.

5. Kansas State Department of Education.;

6. Partnerships in Character Education State Pilot Projects, 1995–2001. Lessons learned. // US Department of Education. Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. 2008;

7. 2019 Florida Statutes: K-20 Education Code (title XLVIII): Public K-12 Education (chapter 1003)

8. Cliff Urnaga and Argyl Dick. Chaplaincy Group Teams With Detention to Address Spiritual Needs and Character. // LJN Exchange (2005): 25-28.

9. Bill Sherman. Faith Builds Character. / Tulsa World, December 18, 2008.

10. Heather Cazad. ‘Schools of Character’ Demonstrate a Path to Education Reform. // Erraticus. Jan. 12, 2019.

11. Dr. Howard Hendricks. Teaching to Change Lives. / Multnomah, New York. 1987. P. 152.

12. In The Gap.

13. Child Protection Policy. In The Gap.

14. Character First México. Generación de trabajo en equipo para mejorar la comunicación.

15. Martin Luther King, Jr. has delivered his speech on 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

16. In 2009, the Obama administration has been talking about “pressing the reset button” in the US-Russian relationships. Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greeted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva and presented a small green box that had inside a red button with the Russian word “peregruzka” printed on it. Ironically, there was a typo made in Russian that meant ‘overcharged’, which intended to mean ‘reset’ in English.

17. Tom Hill with Walter Jenkins. Making Character First. Appendix / Character First Publishers, LLC. 2010, p. 189.