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R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Schools launch program to build character and bring out the best in kids
By Heather R. Breaux -   Oct 05, 2006

Dr. Rodney Lafon: Parents are a child’s most important teachers.
Dr. Rodney Lafon: Parents are a child’s most important teachers.

St. Charles Parish Public Schools has launched a new "character-education initiative" designed to teach children the importance of acting responsibly and fairly and treating themselves and others with respect.

"Character Links," as the program is called, will educate children on the basic character traits that most responsible citizens in a civilized society subscribe to: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, safety and perseverance ... the same traits that are taught in highly disciplined martial arts schools for $50 and up a month.

Each week school children will address a different character trait. At the beginning of each school day, classes parish-wide will complete one character-building activity that will give students living, real-world examples of character in action.

Dr. Rodney Lafon, superintendent of schools, told parents in a letter that they, too, can participate in the program with a home worksheet that will help them in discussions about character. This, he said, will reinforce work done in the classroom.

Here's how it works: if the "trait of the week" is "respect," then on Monday parents are asked to talk with their children about the importance of respecting themselves and others.

"Parents are the child’s most important teacher," said Lafon. Through this program, we can combine efforts in the total education of your child. Together we can build a safer, more peaceful world for our children."

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and Motiva Enterprises, a joint venture between Shell Oil and Saudi Refining, have joined hands with the school system to make this program possible by choosing traits that they feel are important in character building.

The program is set to continue until the end of the school year in May.

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