Character Trait Posters
Big Ridge participates in the Character Education program established by Hamilton County Schools. The school system has worked with local businesses to create a series of posters highlighting each month’s character trait. At Big Ridge, we put these posters up each month when we begin the new character trait. In the hallways, the previous posters are left up also. By the end of the year, the halls are filled with character education posters.

We involve the students in working with the posters. In the higher grades, the students put up the posters themselves. This provides an opportunity for the entire class to watch, and for the class to discuss the new character trait. This is a great way of starting off the character trait of the month.

Date Posted: 6/20/2000

Secret Awards
Hamilton County Schools focuses on a different character trait every month. During the month, the teachers try to highlight how that character trait contributes to a safe and happy school. At Big Ridge Elementary, one way this is done is through the Secret Awards.

Each month a secret award is given to a class or person at the school that exhibits that month’s character trait. The character education coordinator for the school, who happens to be the music teacher, stays on the lookout throughout the school for an example where the character trait is exhibited. Other teachers can also recommend students or classes. The students never know when she might be looking for award-winning behavior. This helps to keep character education in the children’s minds, since they are always thinking that she might be looking for that special person.

For the month March the character trait was Honesty. This month the award was given to a child for returning money that was found on the playground. The award was announced over the morning announcements and was given in the child’s homeroom.

Date Posted: 6/20/2000

Chorus Sings at Retirement Home
For December we studied Caring. The 4/5 Grade Chorus showed how much they cared for seniors in their community by going to a retirement home to sing for the residents (pictured). This allowed the children to be able to share some joy with the residents. This effort truly touched some of the chorus members when they saw how much the seniors appreciated their visit.

Date Posted: 6/20/2000

PTA Monthly Service Projects
Each month at Big Ridge the PTA sponsors a monthly service related project. These range from collecting food for the needy, books for children at Christmas time, collecting items for homeless pets, Pennies for Plants (pictured). All of the activities are children motivated and they pertain to character traits such as respect (for their school by planting flowers), caring (sending books to needy children) and responsibility (by taking care of abandoned pets).

Each month the service project is highlighted with a display in the main hallway near the office. PTA members are responsible for setting up and maintaining the display. Children are allowed to bring contributions each month. For instance, the children contributed used books that they had outgrown to give to the local children’s home. Over 200 books were collected. For the month of October, the children highlighted responsibility by bringing in items needed to care for a pet. These items were given to the local humane society.

Date Posted: 6/20/2000

School Character Awards
Each semester at Big Ridge Elementary ends with an award assembly for the entire school. Traditionally, awards were given for academic achievement. For the past two years we have also given awards to students to show high character standards in the school life. The students are given a medal and certificate in front of all of the students. The presentation includes a description of how the student has shown good character during the semester.

Pictured is award winner from the 5th grade, who won the Responsibility Character Award earlier this year. This student received this award because she has demonstrated this trait by doing her work for each class as required. In addition, she volunteered for additional duties such as helping with attendance each morning, and helping to wash the tables in the cafeteria after lunch.

Date Posted: 6/20/2000