Category Archives: Character Education

Gratitude and Compassion


I work at a Title 1 school, so we qualified for a special grant through Tony La Russo’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF). The grant provided us with a classroom visit, as well as, a visit to their facility for a tour. It’s important to me that my students realize that although their family did not pay for the field-trip, it was paid for by someone. In our case, it was paid for through a grant. Since I was unaware of who funded the grant, we offered our thanks to our friend, Jan, from ARF.

I have a few books with engaging stationary borders. I was unable to find a border with domestic animals, so I chose to use hearts since our experience with ARF touched many of our hearts.


I really enjoyed my students’ letters. Some of the wonderful comments made from them were:

“Thank you so much for letting us come to your adoption center it was amazing.”

“We like Tiger, AKA Jujubee, we take him to recess.” Tiger is the stuffed cat we adopted from ARF. Each student gets a day with Tiger, and he or she tracks Tigers adventures in a journal.

“Thank you for teaching me how to be safe with animals. When I grow up I want to work at an animal shelter, and help cats and dogs. I want to be just like you.”

“I learned so much at ARF, like use WAG when you are around animals.”

“Thank you for teaching us to act like a tree when dogs chase you.”

“I learned that compassion is important.”

“I hope I can work at ARF when I grow up.”


Buddies are the Best


This week my fifth graders met their second grade buddies! They spent time interviewing each other and getting to know each other.

I enjoy buddy classes. I feel they are great for character education. Buddies work on the character traits of compassion, responsibility, respect, and integrity.

Our buddy classes are going to work on building reading fluency using Scholastic’s Partner Poems for Building Fluency.  In the spring, buddies will be citing a poem in a performance. We’re looking forward to an academic, fun, and rewarding experience.


Building Character Through Animal Care


Meet Tiger. Our class adopted him from Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF). He’s a one year old neutered male tiger tabby cat. Students will be taking turns caring for Tiger in the classroom and tracking his experiences in a journal.


ARF visited my class for their All-Stars Program this week. This two day program focused on the character traits of responsibility, respect, and compassion while teaching about animal care. The class also got to meet a therapy dog named Lucy.

We will be visiting ARF in a couple of weeks to tour their facility, meet new animals, and learn more about animal care.