On June 8th, 2002 Mayor John T. McDonald III, along with representatives from the school district, business community, church community and leaders of many civic groups, kicked off a City-Wide Character Counts! Initiative. You may ask, "What is Character Counts!" Character Counts! is...
"A diverse, nonpartisan alliance of leading human-service and educational organizations working together to strengthen the character of young people today - and safeguard tomorrow for all. With hundreds of members around the U.S. (http://www.charactercounts.org/members.htm for the complete list), the Coalition has the potential of reaching millions of young people and their families, advocating core ethical values that transcend political, religious, class and ethnic divisions. These values, called the "Six Pillars of Character," are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship." (www.charactercounts.org)
Since June of 2002 the City of Cohoes has had a City-Wide Character Committee that meets monthly to discuss possible events or programs that we can make available to the youth and families of our community to strengthen the character education movement that is also taking place within our schools. By becoming a Character Counts! City we were able to partner with the school district and ensure that character education is not only taught in school but is reinforced throughout the community as well.
The Character Committee is comprised of City, School and Business representatives as well as community members who feel this is an important initiative within our community. Our mission, "The Character Counts! Committee works to reinforce the principals that have made our society possible. The Committee instills the Six Pillars of Character - caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness in our youth and throughout all segments of society. Committee members show the advantages of character, not by preaching, but by example." The Committee meets once a month at the Cohoes Senior Center and we are always looking for new members. Please contact Danielle Lagace, Human Services Director at 233-2116 if you are interested. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the things our committee has done in addition to publicizing the Character Counts! initiative include: hosting an annual poster and essay contest for the youth of Cohoes, helping to coordinate the Halloween parade and Party each year with the Cohoes Kiwanis Club, marching in the Memorial Day Parade each year, assisting with the annual Turkey Trot, hosting a citizenship contest for elementary students, etc. We also work very closely with the high school community service club and encourage volunteerism as part of being a person of character. We have also established words of the month that both the City and Schools recognize. Often time's special events or programs are planned around these words of the month.
Character Counts Words for 2008 – 2009