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Ahfachkee students embrace character education program

Ahfachkee high school students are, from left, Maggie Jimmie (junior), Timothy Tigertail (senior), Jordan Osceola (senior), Jaylee Jimmie (sophomore) and kneeling in front is Daleen Osceola (senior). (Courtesy photo)

BIG CYPRESS — Ahfachkee School students are learning that character counts in school, at home and throughout life.

The school’s character education program is implemented across the curriculum at all grade levels one character trait at a time. Teachers incorporate one of eight traits in daily activities and lessons. After a month of learning and implementing a character trait, teachers award a certificate to one student based on their understanding and use of the trait throughout the month.

The eight traits are cooperation, responsibility, citizenship, kindness, respect, honesty, self-control and tolerance.

“I can tell you from my classroom presentations, discussions and student interaction, most of the students have a very
good concept about cooperation in their own lives,” said guidance counselor Harold “Chip” Osborn.

In October, the trait was responsibility. A group of high school students met with Osborn to discuss what it means to be responsible.

“It means meeting obligations,” said senior Tim Tigertail. “For example if we had a group project, each person is responsible to complete their assigned section.”

Daleen Osceola, a senior, described it as being trustworthy, sophomore Jaylee Jimmie said it meant being accountable, and junior Maggie Jimmie defined it as having “a clear mindset of duty.”

For senior Jordan Osceola, responsibility at home means “completing assigned chores, for example cleaning up my room.”

An Ahfachkee PowerPoint presentation about the character education program stated it will help to develop an positive school atmosphere, reduce the number of discipline referrals, increase academic achievement, reduce absenteeism, embrace parental and community involvement and help students become leaders for the future.

Osborn sends parents a monthly newsletter announcing the trait of the month along with ideas for home activities.
Families are encouraged to participate in the related activities at home to reinforce the lesson.

The program is designed to bring the trait to life in a way that is relevant to the students and integrates the traits into their daily lives.

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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