Character Connection Class at Francis Howell Middle
Each morning students at Francis Howell Middle School begin the day in Character Connection Class (CCC). While this class has no structured curriculum, it has two very clear goals: to build character and build personal connections.
Approximately fifteen sixth, seventh, and eighth graders and their CCC teacher stay together for three years, developing family-like units throughout the building. The activities and focus of each CCC are as different as the students in them because we believe that relationships cannot be mandated by a curriculum. Often the pressure to cover a curriculum hinders relationship-building between students and teachers.
By discussing our school’s core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, and compassion, our students learn the reward and value of serving others. CCC’s have raised money for various organizations, local families, soldiers, and victims of natural disasters. They have worked together to sponsor fun, school-wide activities that ultimately benefit others.
For example, one CCC organized a school-wide Dodge Ball Tournament and used the entry fees to buy materials for bat boxes that were made and distributed to the community. Another CCC sold bagels on Thursday mornings and used the money to support a family in need. Yet another made “chairacters” (chairs decorated with our core value themes) to serve as comfortable and decorative reminders of our focus on character. Sometimes the service is as simple as collecting pop tops for the local Ronald McDonald House and sometimes it is a building-wide effort like engaging in a food drive for the local food pantry or putting together health kits for Haiti. It is our hope that CCC will continue to give us opportunities to not only know what our core values are, but to live them.
At Francis Howell Middle School, we desire to help our students be “other-centered” and grounded in good character.