Character Counts helps Regina students learn respect, responsibility

Herky, the University of Iowa’s mascot, and members of the Iowa Dance Team pose with first-graders during National Character Counts! Week in October.

Regina Elementary is in the second year of concentrating on the Character Counts Program. For the past two years, the school has been discussing with children the following seven pillars of character: respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship, fairness, trustworthiness and faith.

The first six pillars come from the statewide initiative on Character Counts. The formal program of “Character Counts!” in Iowa is a statewide partnership with the Character Counts! Coalition and the Josephson Institute of Ethics.  These pillars provide a common language of virtue and a great framework for character development among students, teachers and parents. Character Counts helps people to conduct themselves in a respectful way in sports or in their daily lives. 

For the past two years, teachers and administrators have attended Character Counts workshops on the basics and also on Character Counts in Athletics. These classes have proven beneficial in assisting Regina Elementary to create an atmosphere that enhances and targets these specific traits. The school concentrates on a specific pillar each month with morning announcement examples. Regina Elementary celebrated the National Character Counts! Week, Oct. 18-24.

Highlights for this special week included color day, where each grade level wore a certain color indicating one of the seven pillars. A special part of the week included Hawkeye Day in which Herky and members of the Iowa Dance Team were able to meet Regina students and Regina’s mascot, Crowny. Members of the Iowa Dance Team shared at the assembly which character trait is most important to each of them and why it was important.


Marv Cook, head football coach for Regina and an honorary member of the State Board of Directors of Character Counts also shared his inspirations about having strong character and how this helps you in your life. 

A special part of this week was showing Regina’s citizenship and faith by collecting food for the less fortunate and blessing the food at the hunger Mass. Also, Ronald McDonald was a visitor to Regina and shared his show about why character is so important. The key is to remember that the payoff for good character is that it makes you a better person and it makes the world a better place.

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