Character counts especially in kindergarten

Character counts especially in kindergarten

Kindergarten is more than just learning the foundation of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Kindergarten is also about further developing one’s character — their personality, their moral qualities, and their temperament.

“Students are taught starting out in kindergarten: trustworthiness, respect, caring, responsibility, fairness, and citizenship,” said LaKynn McDonald, a kindergarten teacher at Scottsburg Elementary School.

At Scott County School District 2, students are taught six pillars from the nationally-recognized Character Counts program. The first pillar, trustworthiness, teaches students to be honest, be reliable, be courageous, be loyal, and to build a good reputation. The second pillar, respect, teaches children to treat others with respect, treat others as they would want to be treated, the differences of others, use good manners, avoid bad language, be considerate of the feelings of others, not to threaten, hit or hurt others, and to deal with conflict peacefully.

“Character development also ties into the social interactions that take place in kindergarten,” McDonald said. “Starting in kindergarten, and continuing throughout their school careers, students are taught to be good friends, and to be caring and considerate toward one another.”

Another pillar, responsibility, teaches students to do what they are supposed to do, to plan ahead, to be diligent, to persevere, to do their best, to use self-control, to be self-disciplined, to think before acting, to be accountable, and to set a good example for others. For the fairness pillar, students learn to play by the rules, take turns, to share, to be open-minded, to listen to others, to not take advantage of others, not to blame carelessly, and to treat others fairly.

“In kindergarten, as mentioned before, ample amounts of time are also spent on character education and making sure that children are socially and emotionally thriving,” McDonald said.

“The kindergarten classroom allows for students to collaborate and learn from their peers,” said Robin Burns, a kindergarten teacher at Johnson Elementary School. “They learn to take turns speaking and to share supplies. Recess allows students to learn how to share and play with others their age. It also provides the opportunity for students to become problem solvers by presenting opportunities for them to resolve conflicts on their own.”

At Vienna-Finley Elementary School, kindergarten students have monthly visits with the school counselor, Holly Asdell, who teaches the students about character traits.

“We start each year with a series of units all about them: Welcome to Kindergarten, All About Me, My Family, My Friends, and My Community,” said Brittany Banister, a kindergarten teacher at VFES. “Helping even the youngest of students see that they are part of a larger entity helps build character without being boring.”

By enrolling your child in kindergarten, students not only grow in intelligence, they grow as individuals and into people of substance. The backdrop of kindergarten coupled with a safe learning environment that is guided by caring and knowledgeable teachers will help children become well-rounded individuals and learning how to thrive in the world around them and beyond.

“Kindergarten is a very magical experience. My kindergarten classroom is much like a family. Having the strong foundation of a wonderful kindergarten experience really sets the stage for having a love of learning and coming to school,” Banister said.

At Scott County School District 2, we want to help you through the process — from answering all your questions, to how to go through the registration process, to all the questions along the way during the first year of kindergarten.

For more information on registering your child at Scott 2, visit our kindergarten information page at http://choosescott2.com/kindergarten.