STRATFORD—St. Mark School in Stratford is pleased to announce a new school-wide program that teaches students the value of moral character and that the positive impact of their actions do not go unnoticed.
The program, Models in Christ, recognizes students for demonstrating character traits based on the Catholic theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Teachers in kindergarten through grade 8 nominate students as Models in Christ based on how they exemplify the six pillars of character at St. Mark School: Respect, Kindness, Accountability, Citizenship, Perseverance and Trustworthiness.
Each month, two students per grade are chosen and presented with a commemorative gold cross pin.
The Models in Christ program was introduced to Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano at a recent school Mass ¬that he celebrated at St. Mark during Catholic Schools Week.
“What a tremendous program this is!” commented Bishop Frank. “Thank you students for your great example and your great conduct.”
School Counselor Jennifer Flynn created the program and believes its foundational skills embody the ideals of St. Mark School and instill a positive school climate and a culture of kindness.
Flynn shares, “Good character is not formed automatically; it is developed over time through a sustained process of teaching, example, learning and practice. With this program, students are intentionally taught good character traits to support their behaviors. As I tell my students, in a world where you can be anything, choose to be kind.”
School Principal Melissa Warner recognizes that while the primary responsibility for character development lies with parents and families, schools play an essential supportive role.
Warner adds, “As educators, we shape students’ ideas about what constitutes good behavior. We help them develop civic responsibility, healthy attitudes towards themselves and others, and a commitment to lifelong learning. We proactively instill in our students these important character traits that society values in its school graduates, community members and employees.”
According to Warner, the Models in Christ program is integrated into all elements of school life at St. Mark. Students discuss what each virtue looks like and how they can use that strength for the betterment of the school and the betterment of others. Morning prayer and school bulletin boards feature the virtue of the month and students are recognized when reflecting the virtue in their daily lives.
School Counselor Flynn praises the program for being a practical way for faculty and staff to model virtuous behavior and to help explicitly teach children to be the best versions of who they are.
St. Mark School is a Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School and a New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accredited school. St. Mark School opened its campus for in-person learning in September and continues to offer robust educational programs for students in Pre-K through Grade Eight, including those who choose to be enrolled in remote learning. For more information, visit www.stmarkschool.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.