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Character Day 2016: LA schools celebrate good character and join worldwide events

Mike Szymanski | September 23, 2016

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Schools throughout the LA Unified school district joined more than 90,000 groups worldwide on Thursday to celebrate Character Day and talk about how to develop character strengths.


Although it’s impossible to tell exactly how many classrooms dealt with Character Day activities, Susan Ward Roncalli of the district’s Social Emotional Learning division said she was busy traveling to schools and helping with assemblies, rallies, photo boards and a balloon stomp.

“I visited three Orchard schools in Bell and Marina Del Rey Middle School, and all activities were great,” said Roncalli.

Marina Del Rey teacher Andrea Burke led students in joining the global conversation of characteristics such as empathy, kindness, honesty, leadership, resilience and justice. “We love Marina’s participation in this global event,” Burke said.

The Character Day education has involved 65 school districts, 24 universities and 70 nonprofit groups. In August, school board member Ref Rodriguez got a resolution passed that encourages district schools to celebrate the day.

Character education has been prevalent since the 1890s, is central to citizenship education and is focused on preparing individuals to make ethical judgments to improve conditions of civil society, Rodriguez wrote in his resolution.

Rodriguez tweeted photos at Magnolia Science Academy charter school and was represented there by Erica Gonzales.

“This is the district’s way to ensure a safe, caring and nurturing environment for all our youth,” Rodriguez said.

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