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Wildwood Middle Earns ‘Promising Practices’ Recognition for Character Education

Wildwood Middle Earns ‘Promising Practices’ Recognition for Character Education

Wildwood Middle has been recognized for enacting “Promising Practices” by Character.org, a national organization that advocates for character education in schools and communities.

Wildwood’s initiative, “Clubs Cultivate a Culture of Care at Wildwood Middle,” is among 199 from around the nation and 31 from the state of Missouri certified by Character.org as “unique, effective initiatives that inspire ‘goodness in action’ and contribute to the field of character development.”

"We are extremely proud to recognize the schools and organizations that have developed and implemented a Promising Practice,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, president of Character.org. “Each of these programs and initiatives have demonstrated significant impact and strongly align with the principles that help schools and organizations cultivate a culture of character.”

Wildwood focuses on creating opportunities for caring connections through intentionally creating spaces throughout the school that have fostered student connections beyond friend groups and grades.

The school has been able to redirect financial resources and support to help facilitate new, student-driven clubs such as Dungeons and Dragons, Crochet, FCA, drama and Best Buddies, expanding the chances for connection for students and staff with diverse backgrounds and interests.

In three separate pictures, Rockwood students smile during a schoolwide volleyball tournament at their school.

“A caring community increases attendance and fosters students' and staff's sense of belonging and purpose,” Wildwood school leaders wrote in their application. “The practice of teachers and staff responding to students’ voices for safe spaces of common interest supported by administration with resources has strengthened caring attachments across grade levels. Students take pride in their clubs by inviting others and creating more clubs, as evidenced by attendance records.”

In addition, annual grade-level social-emotional learning lessons and presenters have helped bring awareness of diverse perspectives in the school community, which counselors then reinforce by following up with strategies targeted toward communicating with care and consideration.

This awareness then filters out into the community with the school’s students and through service-learning fundraisers for peers and families impacted by leukemia and sickle cell anemia and annual Thanksgiving food drives, a holiday Adopt-a-Family program and a Rockwood’s Got Your Back Pack food drive. 

Wildwood has also begun the practice of assembling as an entire school body for a Veterans Day program featuring a veteran’s message on service, volunteerism and hosting local, as well as a club volleyball tournament that leads up to a Turkey Bash assembly featuring championship volleyball finals of each grade level and staff. 

“These practices lead to a connected community,” the school wrote in its application.

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