Counting On Character

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Wanted: Young people who are trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring and good citizens.

Also wanted: An opportunity for all children to learn these characteristics.

In a perfect world, youngsters would have to search no farther than their family, where responsible parents lovingly teach these six character traits to their children by example and instruction.

The reality, however, is that many children today lack role models who regularly teach and reinforce these six pillars of character.

Last fall, a group of 32 Payson area teachers and parents attended a three-day workshop taught by Peggy Adkins, national trainer with the Josephson Institute of Ethics and the nationally renowned Character Counts program, initiated in Arizona by Gov. Jane Hull.

Since that workshop, those teachers have been hard at work passing on what they learned to our children in Rim country public schools.

Now our community has a unique opportunity to learn more about Gov. Hull's Character Counts program. The Character Counts Coalition has agreed to sponsor a free workshop for parents from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 19 in the Payson High School auditorium. Anyone who works with children will likely benefit from this experience, led by Adkins, a renowned speaker.

Some parents see Gov. Hull's Character Counts program as an invasion into their parental territory, a domain that public schools should not enter. But we see it as an opportunity to reinforce what responsible parents are already teaching. It's also a chance to build better partnerships between schools and families to help the children of this community learn to read, write and do what's right.

For more information and reservations, call Julia Randall Elementary School at 474-2353, Payson Elementary School at 474-5882, Frontier Elementary School at 472-2052, Rim Country Middle School at 474-4511, Payson High School at 474-2233, Pine-Strawberry School at 476-3283, Payson Center for Success at 472-2011 or Macky's Grill at 474-7411.

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