The Virtues Project

The Virtues Project

The Virtues Project was honored as a model global program for families of all cultures by the United Nations Secretariat during the International Year of the Family.  The Virtues Project is not about the practices or beliefs of any particular religion.  It is based on the simple wisdom of the world’s diverse cultures and religions about living by the best within us – courage, honor, justice, kindness and all of our innate virtues.  Schools, businesses, diverse faith communities, prisons, counselors, drug and alcohol recovery programs, and families throughout the world are using the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project with transformational effect.

The Five Strategies of the Virtues Project

The Five Strategies of The Virtues Project means to transform the culture of our school and provide simple tools to use every day to make character education a natural part of the child’s experience.  It is far more powerful to integrate the cultivation of virtues into the existing curriculum, the discipline system, the counseling experience, and the daily classroom life.  The Five Strategies of The Virtues Project are:

1. Speak the Language of the Virtues

Language has great influence to empower or discourage.  Self-esteem is built when shaming or blaming language is replaced by naming the Virtues, our innate qualities and character.  Virtues are used to acknowledge, guide and correct.  The Language of the Virtues helps us remember what kind of people we want to be.

2. Recognize Teachable Moments

View life as an opportunity for learning, recognizing our mistakes, our test and challenges as opportunities to hone our virtues.  It is an approach to bring out the best in each other by asking, “What can I learn from this situation?”, “What do I need to do differently next time?”, and “How can I make it right?”

3. Set Clear Boundaries

Clear boundaries, connected to a Shared Vision of the virtues with which we want to treat one another, help to prevent violence and create a safe learning environment.  Clear ground rules based on virtues build an atmosphere of order and unity.

4. Honor the Spirit

School spirit grows through simple practices that illuminate our sense of values, such as create Shared Vision Statements.  A school wide moment of silence each morning can bring a sense of peace to the day.  Virtues Sharing Circles allow us to reflect on what matters to us.  Participation in the arts honors meaning and creativity.  Celebrations make special events meaningful.

5. Offer the Art of Companioning TM

This is the art and skill which supports healing, encourages moral choice, and allows the safe expression of feelings.  It helps in counseling, conflict resolution, and disciplinary situations.  Companioning helps us to get to the heart of the matter when individuals are in crisis or grief.  It involves true presence and listening, asking clarifying questions, which allow individuals to empty their cup, and then to solve their own problems with the help of the virtues.

I.  A School Wide Implementation

Beginning the second week of school through the last week of school, RMS will implement a “Virtue of the Week Program”.  The virtues we will focus on are listed in the table below.  Please click on the virtue name to see the lessons we will use with our students!

Week of

Virtue

Week of

Virtue

Week of

Virtue

Week of

Virtue

Sept 12th

Unity

Nov 14th & 21st

Thankfulness

Jan 30th  

Forgiveness

Apr 10th

Determination

Sept 19th

Kindness

Nov 28th

Generosity

Feb 6th

Honesty

Apr 17th

Friendliness

Sept 26th

Orderliness

Dec 5th

Trust

Feb 13th

Flexibility

Apr 24th

Reliability

Oct 3rd

Cooperation

Dec 12th

Perseverence

Feb 20th

Courage

May 1st

Cleanliness

Oct 10th

Service

Dec 19th

Joyfulness

Feb 27th

Confidence

May 8th

Enthusiasm

Oct 17th

Peacefulness

Jan 3rd

Excellence

Mar 6th

Self-Discipline

May 15th

Compassion

Oct 24th

Responsibility

Jan 9th

Humility

Mar 13th

Understanding

May 22nd

Caring

Oct 31st

Creativity

Jan 16th

Patience

Mar 20th

Honor

May 30th

Integrity

Nov 7th

Love

Jan 23rd

Helpfulness

Mar 27th

Modesty

June 5th

Respect

A Parent Resource

Please enjoy the virtues for use at home with your children.  Click on the link of each virtue to learn more and discuss along with us at home throughout the school year. Parents are also invited to attend the Virtues Assemblies mentioned below.  Please see the RMS calendar for dates and times.  Have fun!

II. Weekly/Monthly Implementation

Morning Time (A Sample Weekly Schedule)

  • Focus on the Affirmation Each Day
    • Read the Affirmation at the beginning of each day, with all students reciting it aloud.
  • A Virtues Morning – Daily Readings
    • Monday:  What is the virtue?  What does it mean?  Have you seen it in action?
    • Tuesday:  Why practice it?  Why important?  Who cares?
    • Wednesday:  How do you practice it?  What does your heart tell you?
    • Thursday:  Signs of Success
    • Friday:  The Affirmation
  • Acknowlegdement
    • Teachers and students acknowledge each other for how they have demonstrated the virtues.
  • Moment of Silence
    • Following each daily reading there will be a one minute silent reflection to focus on the Virtue and what has been read.

Within our Peace Curriculum

  • Group Discussion
    • Invite students to share their own experiences of being treated without the Virtue and then with the Virtue, for example, times they have experienced intolerance and tolerance in their lives.  IMPORTANT:  Boundaries should be set before hand so that no names are mentioned.
  • Activity Options
    • Virtues Rap – Have students compose a rap song on the Virtue of the Week and present it at the end of the week in the classroom or at the Monthly Affirmation Assembly.
    • Virtue Signs – Students can create signs to be hung in the classroom or school on the Virtue of the Week and the Affirmation.
    • Skits – Students across age levels could work together to develop a skit on the Virtue of the Week and the Affirmation.  These could be presented at the end of the week in the classroom or at the Monthly Affirmation Assembly.
    • Sing a Song – Students could compose a song on the virtue using the melody of a favorite song like “Farmer in the Dell”.
  • Lesson Planning – Plans have been provided through The Virtues Project and each lesson contains activities specific to the Virtue being discussed.

Monthly Virtues Assembly

At the end of each month RMS will hold a Virtue Assembly honoring the Virtues discussed and learned over the month and the effort students have put forth to learn and live these Virtues.  Classrooms will rotationally be responsible for determine how we will affirm our virtues.  Parents are invited to these Affirmation Assemblies.  Please see the RMS calendar for dates and times.

References

www.virtuesproject.com

The Virtues Project Educator Guide: Paperback-ISBN 188039684x ITEM#-VEG 246 Pages (8.5" x 11" x .5") Published in 2000 by Jalmar Press, CA, USA

Virtue Cards may not be printed for resale or distribution.

 

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