This organization added tremendous value to the Bridgeport Public Schools by challenging our students to reflect upon, write about and demonstrate ethical behavior. As a result of our involvement with the School for Ethical Education, Inc, our students not only won distinction for their essays but they also created meaningful, charitable projects.
Additionally, I can say that the School for Ethical Education leadership is comprised of outstanding human beings intent on raising the level of ethical consciousness across our communities. It has been a pleasure to be associated with such fine citizens.
West Haven High School has a long standing relationship with the School for Ethical Education that has been overwhelmingly positive! Our students established an Academic Integrity Committee and have created an integrity policy that was approved by the Board of Education. This group has been very active and the support from the SEE has been invaluable. AIC (Academic Integrity Committee) also develops lessons for advisory and reads to third grade classes about integrity (SpongeBob, etc.). The School for Ethical Education has also worked with our teachers on a variety of projects including Achieving with Integrity where we implement integrity lessons into English, Science and Social Studies classes. The leadership, advice, and guidance offered from the staff as the SEE is extremely meaningful and helpful.
I am a teacher who was introduced to the School for Ethical Education (SEE) in 2003. As a language arts teacher, I am always on the look-out for ways to inspire student writing. SEE's Laws of Life Essay Contest is a fantastic motivator; students are challenged to "dig deep" to find their own literary voices while exploring ethics and good character. Student essayists invited to attend the Character Celebration are treated to an evening of inspiring speakers and are honored for their own dedication to ethical responsibility. It is important for the youth to know that qualities such as honesty, integrity, and determination are valued by their teachers, parents, and greater community. By highlighting a businessperson or community leader who exemplifies ethics in action, students see how success does not require a compromise of one’s ethics or morals. I am grateful to the School for Ethical Education for providing a challenging and inspiring opportunity to me and my students. They are a group of passionate professionals who help highlight the positive efforts and actions of others.
I came to this site for the purpose of sharing my review of this nonprofit from the unbiased perspective of an event attendee's guest.
Back in May (2014) it was my great pleasure to accompany a dear friend to The School's "Character Celebration" Awards Dinner. I refused to set any particular expectation for myself; after all it wasn't like I had any preconceived notion as to what The School's mission was or who was listed on their Board of Trustees. I was simply content attending this midweek function at the request of my friend.
Well, I was in for quite a surprise! I was genuinely shocked by each essay these children wrote. They did such a remarkable job articulating, I could no longer place "youth" in the same arena as "inexperienced". There was a brief moment during the ceremony where I felt no association to 99% of the room; the children truly shined like sparkling stars, the judges, faculty and trustees exemplified greatness and achievement, and I silently championed every parent that sat proudly next to their exemplary child.
It should be every school's objective to raise such phenomenal young adults and lead them into this world in the same manner SEE accomplishes on a daily basis! I was honored and grateful to be included for what ended up being a fantastic evening! I left that night both motivated and inspired, and continue to applaud this nonprofit just as loudly as I did for those children back in May!
I have known David Wangaard, the director of The School for Ethical Education since the mid-90's, and have found him to be a very thoughtful and articulate spokesperson for the character and ethical education movement. I invited David twice to provide professional development to teachers I was working with on a grant project, and his presentations were outstanding and very helpful. The School for Ethical Education has a long history of developing high quality materials, professional development, resources and support to schools to help them integrate ethics into their broader curriculum. I often mention The Golden Compass to teachers as an outstanding publication that can help them teach their students a process for ethical decision-making and the importance for all of us in developing a golden compass to guide us in life. I highly recommend The School for Ethical Education to any teacher, school or district interested in integrating character education into their basic school program and school improvement process.
I have served as a judge for the past eight years for the Laws of Life essay program, which is a student writing and character development project that is capped each spring with an award program for the writers, their teachers and family members at an Annual Awards Dinner. The celebration honors ten Connecticut students who have written outstanding essays that reflect their own deepest values and character goals based upon their personal experience. I can honestly say that the gathering held in New Haven this past May was the best organized and most inspiring celebration of its kind that I have ever attended. The recipient of the annual Ethics in Action award, Cindi Bigelow, could not have been a more positive and effective spokesperson for all that SEE seeks to represent; with her special brand of humor, intelligence, and generosity, the President and CEO of Bigelow Tea asked each of the 10 student recipients to stand as she briefly summarized the highlights of each essay. What a splendid model in character, ethics, and leadership this inspiring honoree set for every one of us in attendance!
The School for Ethical Education provides role models and education to school age children of the importance of ethics and the value it brings to your life and your career.
I was introduced to David Wangaard through the Greater Valley Leadership Program in 2010. David's presentation on Ethics was outstanding and a valuable component to our collective leadership development. David's style kept the class engaged and proved to be one our most interesting sessions.
The School for Ethical Education (SEE) has been an active participant in the Connecticut Assets Network since 1998. During this time, SEE has sponsored a variety of Character Education workshops, conferences, contests and awards for youth and the adults who work with them throughout the state of Connecticut (see pictures below). Early on, SEE’s multi-day state conferences were often youth-driven and demonstrated character education programs from around the state. It’s only drawback is that it doesn’t have enough staff and funding to bring its programs and expertise to every school in the state. SEE’s greatest assets are its many programs which include:
1. Youth: Ethics in Service (YES) helps Connecticut educators and youth in grades 2-12 implement meaningful service-learning projects. The goal of YES is to promote academic achievement, critical thinking, character development and civic engagement through the teaching strategy of service-learning. Service-learning is different from community service in that it involves a deliberate inclusion of academic curriculum and reflection before, during, and after service. Under this initiative, the School for Ethical Education began a youth philanthropy board in January 2004 as a project supported by its Learn and Serve grant and support from the Connecticut Assets Network. The goal of the youth philanthropy board is to provide high school students the training and experience to successfully distribute mini-grants in support of service-learning projects in New Haven County. Ten students were recruited from seven high schools in New Haven County. The students met twice a month and learned about youth philanthropy in support of service-learning. The group's goal was to create a Request for Proposal (RFP) that could be disseminated to New Haven County schools in the fall of 2004. The board named itself Student Activists for Service-Learning and identified leadership roles to help guide their activities.
2. The Laws of Life Essay: The Laws of Life essay program offers a great opportunity for students in grades 5–12 to think, reflect, discuss with peers and adults and then write about their core values, principles and ideals that will guide them throughout their lives. Laws of Life is a student writing and character development project that supports writing practice for CT Mastery and CAPT testing.
3. Curricula Development: the director of SEE, David Wangaard, Ph.D. has developed curricula to support their Character Education Programs. Some examples are:
a. Service Learning Workbook: this workbook is intended to help youth and their adult leaders plan and implement service-learning projects. This comprehensive resource, Service-Learning: Planning and Reflection, A Step-by-Step Guide (Character Development Publishing), is directed at youth in grades 4 through 12 and their teachers or adult leaders in schools or in after-school programs.
b. Integrity Works! is a program that promotes academic integrity to reduce cheating and plagiarism in secondary schools. SEE provides guidance for schools to form an Academic Integrity Committee (AIC) with the goal of authoring, implementing and evaluating a strategic plan promoting academic integrity. Integrity Works! has its own Academic Motivation and Integrity Survey (AMIS) for research-based student survey measurement.
c. The Golden Compass: the activities and skills taught through application of The Golden Compass workbook provide a compass needle that always points to alternatives in support of positive character. Teachers and students learn a character-based decision making strategy and are provided 56 dilemmas to help students practice the Golden Compass strategy.
As a committee member for Leadership Greater Valley, a community based training program, we continue to rely on The School of Ethical Education to conduct the Ethics Session of our 9-week course.
Year after year, the sessions lead by David Wangaard, Executive Director of SEE, earn high results from student surveys. The content covered and the manner it is delivered in makes an impact -- on a business, social and personal level.
I would recommend SEE to any organization that:
- has an ethics plan in place,
- is considering putting one in place,
- or simply is feels ethics requires a focus in their organization
I encourage you to contact the School of Ethical Education to SEE what they could do for you. I am certain the results will be positive, as the surveys we conduct continue to be rewarding for our annual leadership program.
Professional. That is the one word that best describes the School for Ethical Education, Inc. David Wangaard and his associates have a clarity of vision for schools to assist them in focusing on strategies to develop a caring and responsible classroom environment. His books in service learning, character based decision making and now, academic integrity deserve the attention of all potential funders who understand that the development of good people is every bit as important as the development of smart people. Indeed a good education must aspire to both and the School For Ethical Education raises this truth to a high level.