OLD BRIDGE – James A. McDivitt Elementary School received two Promising Practice awards by Character.org for 2021, bringing the Old Bridge Public School District’s total to 46 education programs, demonstrating effective strategies that develop good character in youngsters.
The two programs submitted by McDivitt School will be honored by Character.org at its National Forum in Washington, D.C., which be held Oct. 20-22.
This year’s character development practices and initiatives included “Adopt the OBPD,” which offers the McDivitt school community an opportunity to work collaboratively, show good character, and thank those who put their lives on the line daily for the school’s safety, according to information provided by the school district.
The McDivitt community recognized the Old Bridge Police Department with student-made ornaments, valentines and badges. They also made and sent a Kudoboard, survival kits, candy bags, Flipgrids with jokes, and potted mint plants.
The second program, “Building Imaginative Lifelong Learners with STEM,” offers students, families, staff and the community multiple opportunities throughout the school year to participate in hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities.
McDivitt held multiple virtual STEM nights and created STEM kits for each classroom.
Principal Laurie Anne Coletti commended the staff, students and parents at McDivitt Elementary for working collaboratively to advocate for academics, good character, and the community.
“I am very grateful for the hard work and time that was given by all who championed these promising practices and made them so successful,” Coletti said in the statement. “I have an outstanding staff, wonderful parents, and fabulous students here at McDivitt and feel very honored to be part of this exemplary school.”
Character.org is a national, nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C. that works with schools and districts to educate, inspire and empower young people to be ethical and engaged citizens, according to the statement. The organization is led by educators who are dedicated to teaching youth how to be both smart and good through the advancement of quality character development in all schools.
Character.org sponsors the annual program to showcase innovative best practices that demonstrate impacts across the nation and abroad. Charater.org encourages educators with similar needs to learn from and even replicate these initiatives.
Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Hoeker initiated the district’s involvement with Character.org. during her tenure at Madison Park Elementary School when it earned recognition as a School of Character; she also is a former principal of the Alan B. Shepard Elementary School, Old Bridge Public School District’s first National School of Character, and she has led teams to bring character education to the district’s 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, and the high school, according to the statement.