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Bluebonnet Elementary students earn badges for good choices

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4-8 bluebonnet pillarsMartin Luther King, Jr. said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

Bluebonnet Elementary 1st graders have had the opportunity to learn the value of good character this semester. As part of their social studies lessons and daily classroom behavior system, students learn about the Six Pillars of Good Character Badge Program: Caring, Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, Trustworthiness and Citizenship.

“We wanted to have a way for students to not only understand the Six Pillars of Character that we studied in class, but to apply their knowledge,” teacher Beth Hilsabeck said. “We wanted them to see how good character choices are part of their daily lives.”

To earn a badge, students at the Flower Mound campus are required to complete two projects that represent one of the six pillars and show critical thinking and creativity at home. Projects typically range from writing letters, researching individuals, creating a puppet skit, recording a video interview, publishing a book, completing a service project, keeping a journal and many more.

Students really grasp the importance of the program.

“It is important to have good character because it shows you won’t be mean to people,” student Anya Shamsi, who earned her Caring badge, said.

Student Brody Trent added: “I chose responsibility. I chose to write a letter to my dad because I learned that he is very responsible. I am responsible too, like my dad.”

After completing the requirements for each badge, students present their learning to their grade level peers and parents in a special presentation ceremony.

“It was amazing at the amount of poise each child had as they presented their projects to the audience,” teacher Karen Brininstool said. “I was so impressed with their confidence. I loved seeing how every student used their own creativity to showcase their learning. No projects were the same. Every child worked so hard to do their best work.”

According to Hilsabeck, Bluebonnet adopted the Six Pillars of Character program as part of their school-wide discipline and character program several years ago. Over the years, students have been engaged in lessons that describe and promote the Six Pillars. Since then, 1st grade teachers saw a need to do more with students’ understanding. First, 1st graders study character traits throughout Language Arts and Social Studies lessons. To increase awareness, students are then invited to participate in the Six Pillars Badge Program.

“Students that show an eagerness to earn a badge represent dedication and perseverance by going above and beyond the classroom expectations,” Hilsabeck said. “These students are well on their way to becoming a person with good character for life.”

See pictures from Bluebonnet’s recent Six Pillars of Character Ceremony here.


Elizabeth Haas is part of the public relations team for the Lewisville Independent School District.

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