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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

November 2019
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Character Education

Cultivating good character is an important part of a child's education at home, at school and in the community. Many UPF chapters offer lessons in classrooms or train teachers and administrators in character education or peace education.

Our team was sent to Trinidad and Tobago for our character education internship with the Universal Peace Federation. We were to teach character education at St. Joseph’s Primary School and Sealots Community School July 2-27, 2008.

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What follows is my report on the Summer Institute for Character Education at the State University of New York in Cortland June 30 to July 2, 2008. I highlight the key points of each session as I understand and remember them. I also include a book list and a brief reflection.

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In 2007, the Universal Peace Federation launched its Peer Counselor Intern program. A total of thirty college students went out to seven countries and gave character education lessons in schools and communities. The program is expanding to include twenty countries in 2008, and a new group of interns are preparing to head out during the summer months.

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Team Thailand stayed in the country the work began and ended. Interns Hannah Boyd, Jacob Shaw, and Justin Frisk worked in Songkla in the south of Thailand where they taught character education at an orphanage for children who had lost their parents or been displaced by war. The orphanage is in a safe area away from the conflict.

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Interns Lily Jones and Joyce Payer, the interns of Team India, were thrilled upon arrival in the Indian city of Chennai The whole plane had been populated with Indian men, and, as three white women, they felt they stood out quite a bit. However, on the plane and in country, they felt a strong sense of safety, because they found that women were treated with a great deal of respect.

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Interns Elysa Thalheimer, Tesia Bobrycki, and Audrey Martin were struck by the war-like aspects of Sri Lanka. Everywhere they went, they saw officers with rifles stopping cars and checking everything. They learned that if you are Tamil, it is especially difficult. Most Tamil students yearn for peace, but they don't know how it will come about. The idea of a peace sports festival inspired them, as did meeting their first Westerners. The interns felt the impact of war on society in a way they had never felt before.

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Team Nepal, consisting of Laura Hinkle, Teddy Sylte, and Rita Asaoka, discovered as they left teeming Kathmandu that scenery in Nepal was "soooooo beautiful!" It was full of green mountains and valleys and fresh with unspoiled air. The interns did a lot of teaching in classrooms at four different schools, all of which begged them to return. They also went to a school for orphans that was built by a sister organization, The International Relief Friendship Foundation, and taught character education lessons on teamwork and gratitude and did a cleaning service project.

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Interns Ana Reid, Manae Pisano, and Heung Kook Stephens were assigned to Bangladesh. They conducted an eight-day workshop with Dhaka University students.

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The NextGen Leadership Academy was established on the West Coast of the US in 2005 to help young people build self-confidence, self-awareness, and foster maturity to better prepare them for family life and their college and/or other career.

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The principal and 24 elementary school teachers at the Bloekombos Primary School, Kraaifontein, in Cape Town, South Africa, were happy to be introduced to the Universal Peace Federation’s character education program on June 19-20, 2008.

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The Universal Peace Federation's St. Lucia Chapter held a one-day workshop on “Character Education and Life Skills” on Saturday 31st May 2008 at the Auberge Seraphine Hotel. The workshop is the first of a series of activities planned by the non-profit voluntary organization in pursuit of its goal of “Building a Culture of Peace” in the society.

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Welcome to Discovering the Real Me, the Universal Peace Federation's character education curriculum that offers comprehensive moral education. Its easy-to-follow textbooks and teacher manuals feature stories that present moral challenges. The curriculum begins with simple lessons based on fables and builds to relationship skills and "Preparing for Life in Society." There are 17 lessons for each grade level. Student texts begin with a story and continue with interactive learning exercises; teacher's manuals feature learning objectives, explanations and discussion questions. Instructions are given for games, role-playing, creative activities and assignments to reinforce the learning objectives.

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