Character Now! Program Recognizes Students

Character Now! Program Recognizes Students for Kindness, Citizenship, Growth, and More
Posted on 11/02/2021
Kennedi Figurs

Every day at John F. Kennedy Middle School, you’ll find eighth grade student Kennedi Figurs working hard to achieve her goals and helping her peers do the same. Kennedi frequently spends time organizing and maintaining the school’s clothing replacement closet that assists students who need clothes to wear to school.

Benita Derico-Owen, a science teacher at JFK Middle, recognized Kennedi in October for the District’s Character Now! program, stating that Kennedi exemplifies the character trait of “having a growth mindset.”

“I've watched Kennedi day in and day out working toward her self-set goals,” Derico-Owen said. “And this inspires and gives me hope for the future.”

Kennedi said she likes to give back to her community because she is thankful to have the support she needs to be successful. The School District of Palm Beach County has been providing character education for students since the 2004-2005 school year. 

With the recent addition of state Character Education standards, the District developed a new program called “Character Now!,” that weaves together the new state standards with the District’s existing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) initiatives to better integrate character into the life of the school. 

The following are new character themes for the District program:

• Showing empathy and kindness
Being responsible
Having a growth mindset
Demonstrating trustworthiness
Demonstrating respect
Being a good citizen 

Students are provided with instruction in the standards through the SEL and PBS initiatives. They are then recognized by their schools for demonstrating the character themes. 

The following standout students were also recognized by their schools in October:

Name: Adrian Barnes
School: Crestwood Middle
Character trait: Being a good citizen

Name: Carlos Perez
School: Panther Run Elementary
Character trait: Showing empathy and kindness

Name: Manha Sadika
School: Gove Elementary
Character trait: Demonstrating respect

Name: Isabella Senat
School: Tradewinds Middle
Character trait: Showing empathy and kindness

Name: Leah Stewart
School: Lake Park Elementary
Character trait: Being responsible

Name: Brooke Sydenham
School: Christa McAuliffe Middle
Character trait: Showing empathy and kindness

Name: Sai Vattikonda
School: Omni Middle
Character trait: Having a growth mindset

The School District of Palm Beach County