Program rewarding county kids for character

The Character in Action program soon will recognize students for demonstrating strong character in school. (File)

The Character in Action program soon will recognize students for demonstrating strong character in school. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Shelby County schools have long taken an active approach toward remediating negative behavior, but this year schools will give students more opportunities to be recognized for positive behavior.

In September, the Shelby County School System will partner with Alabaster City Schools, Pelham City Schools and the Shelby County Juvenile Court to launch the Character in Action program.

Through the program, committees at each school, which likely will consist of school counselors and assistant principals, will nominate students for the award. Each month, winners will be chosen from the elementary, intermediate, middle and high school level, and the awards will rotate to each school zone in Shelby County throughout the year.

“We are looking to celebrate the positive with our students,” Shelby County Schools social worker Emily Littrell said during a July 17 interview. “The most effective way to promote good behavior is not only to remediate the negative, but to award the positive.”

The recognition will be awarded to students based on several criteria: Respect, self-discipline, responsibility, citizenship, friendship, fairness, perseverance and courage.

“Alabaster City Schools is excited to be partners with this great program,” ACS Student Services Coordinator Dorann Tanner wrote in a release. “We will supplement our new Learning Earnings program with this innovative program created by Judge Kramer to provide positive recognition for our students.”

Students will be awarded at either a Shelby County Drug Free Coalition meeting or a Shelby County Children’s Policy Council meeting, depending on the month. Winners will receive a certificate from Shelby County District Court Judge Jim Kramer, a $25 gift card and will have their picture published in the Shelby County Reporter.

At the end of the school year, overall winners will be selected, and will receive a laptop computer, Kramer said.

“We are hoping that these winners will influence others to do positive in their communities,” Littrell said.