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U.S. Department of Education Awards $1.4 Million to Help Students Develop Strong Character and Good Citizenship


Schools in Kansas, Florida and New York will share $1.4 million in grants designed to help them implement programs that teach the principles of character development and the responsibilities of citizenship to their students, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today.

“In today’s competitive world, our students need solid academic skills to succeed,” Secretary Spellings said. “Students also need the ability to make responsible choices, the courage to stand up for what is right and the compassion to help others. I’m glad that Partnerships in Character Education Program grants are fostering these important skills.”

The Partnerships in Character Education Program awards grants for up to four years to eligible state and local education agencies to design and implement character education programs that teach students core ethical concepts such as civics, citizenship, justice, responsibility and respect for themselves and others. Grant recipients must show how they have integrated character education into classroom instruction and teacher training. They also must involve parents, students and the community in the process. The projects are evaluated to determine their success in helping students develop positive character, reduce discipline problems and improve academic achievement. Projects also must increase parent and community involvement with the school.

This year’s recipients were chosen in rank order from the list of the most qualified FY 2008 applicants. The grants were solicited and peer reviewed using a two-step process to address the competitive preference priority for this competition. Since 1995, 143 state and local education agencies have received character education grants.

Some evidenced based results from the Partnerships in Character Education Program grants show office referrals decreased, and students had increased civic engagements, demonstrated more social responsibility and placed more value on school compared with those students who did not participate in character education programs. More information on Character Education grants is available at:

A list of the 2008 grantees is below.

Partnerships in Character Education Fiscal Year 2008 Grant Awards

Topeka Kansas Department of Education
Contact: Kent Reed, (785) 296-8109 $630,060
Tampa Hillsborough County Public Schools
Contact: Lynn Fell, (813) 272-4880 $435,911
New York
Yonkers School District
Contact: Fern Eisgrub, (914) 376-8213 $334,422


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