May 2017 Blog  


Many schools and school districts use “VAMP” to frame their character education programs. VAMP is an acronym for the “Virtues- A- Month Program.” VAMP helps all school personnel, students, and parents/guardians focus on a specific virtue. VAMP encourages everyone to be on the same page in the teaching, learning, and practicing of that particular monthly virtue.

The Cobb County Character Education program is an example. Note that the district’s framework is centered on a monthly virtue (RESPECT), then defines elements of the “respect “ (self- respect) and over a 4-week period intending to integrate these “character traits into the total school environment, as well as into the community.”

RESPECT: Showing regard for the worth of someone or something
Week 1 Self-respect* Pride and belief in one’s self and in achievement of one’s potential.
Week 2 Respect for Others* Concern for and motivation to act for the welfare of others.
Week 3 Respect for Authority Respect for those individuals who are in positions of responsibility.
Week 4 Respect for Learning and Punctuality* Appreciation for the importance of and effort involved in acquiring knowledge. Showing high regard for the worth of promptness.


INTEGRITY: Steadfast adherence to a strict code of moral, ethical or artistic values; to consistently be truthful, sincere, and fair. Keeping one’s word.
Week 5 Honesty* Truthfulness and sincerity; free from deception.
Week 6 Trustworthiness Worthy of confidence; reliable; dependable.
Week 7 Self-control The power to direct or regulate your actions and emotions.
Week 8 Justice / Fairness* Correct, proper, and reasonable treatment of behavior and viewpoints of others.


RESPONSIBILITY: Taking care of one’s self and others; to carry out a duty or task carefully and thoroughly
Week 9 Cheerfulness*/
Positive Attitude
Good humored, bright and pleasant. Realistic positive confidence of feeling toward one’s self.
Week 10 Accountability Being responsible for your decisions and actions; dependable.
Week 11 Honor A sense of what is right, just and true; privilege.
Week 12 School Pride / Cleanliness* Care and satisfaction in your school’s environment, achievement and success.


CITIZENSHIP*: Respectful devotion or allegiance to one’s country and/or school
Week 13 Democracy Individual, responsible participation in decision making; government by the people.
Week 14 Patriotism* Respectful devotion or love to one’s country.
Week 15 Service* to Others Useful, usable, and required duty to others.


COMPASSION*: Showing concern or sympathy for others
Week 16 Gratitude A feeling of thankful appreciation for benefits received.
Week 17 Generosity Unselfish willingness to give and share your time and talents in your community.
Week 18 Kindness* Being gentle, willing to help, friendly, courteous, and considerate.


RESILIENCE: The capacity to successfully manage high levels of change
Week 19 Humility Willingness to admit mistakes and take responsibility; not pretentious.
Week 20 Self-confidence / Empowerment Realistic positive attitude about, and trust in one’s self; sense of security, and self-assurance.
Week 21 Flexibility*/ Creativity Adaptability and versatility; clever, imaginative, and inventive.
Week 22 Initiative / Effort Proactive; thinking and taking action on your own; industry.
Week 23 Self-reliance Relying on one’s own abilities, efforts, or judgments.


TOLERANCE*: Consideration for the individual differences, views and beliefs of other people
Week 24 Acceptance Recognition of the diversity of others, their opinions, practices, and culture.
Week 25 Forgiveness Benefiting yourself and others by ceasing to feel resentment towards others.
Week 26 Cooperation*/ Sportsmanship* Working together for a common purpose. The ability to take winning and losing without gloating or complaining.
Week 27 Courtesy / Civility* Polite, civil, and courteous behavior towards others in words and action.


COMMITMENT: The obligation or pledge to carry out some action or to support some policy or person
Week 28 Dedication / Loyalty Sense of commitment and duty.
Week 29 Respect for the Environment* The conservation and care of your surroundings and planet earth.
Week 30 Motivation The desire to move towards a goal.
Week 31 Leadership The ability to take on every task with a sense of purpose and caring for those around them.


ACCOMPLISHMENT: Pride and appreciation for attaining one’s goals
Week 32 Perseverance*` Working hard without giving up.
Week 34 Courage* To meet a challenge without giving in to fear.
Week 35 Patience* / Moderation The power to wait calmly without complaining; avoiding extremes.
Week 36 Wisdom Good judgment; ability to make reasoned decisions; insight.
Week 37 Character Reflect on your Understanding (Thinking), Caring About (Feeling), and Acting Upon (Behavior) in becoming a good example of positive character this year. A summary.
In every high school in Cobb County the Character Education program is supplemented with positive leadership development class called “Principled Thinking,” that focuses on development of positive student leadership skills created “to establish and promote character driven student leaders for the community and school. “

In schools and school district across the country there are variations to the ”Virtues- a –Month” framework or in this case the Cobb County’s “Virtues-a -Week” pattern. For example, many teachers have lessons and activities that encourage students to study and celebrate that month’s holidays or recognition days. For this month that would probably include Cinco De Mayo, National Teacher’s Day, Mother’s day, and Memorial Day.

Edward DeRoche, Ph.D., Character Education Resource Center, Director, University of San Diego —-deroche@sandiego.edu


  1. Craig Hunnel

    Hello All,

    I was hoping that we would be able to review the power points an d have access to the media of the conference…?

    Let me know, please. I would love to watch and review the material, as well as have some of those who are invested in Character with me to view as well




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