Character Education

Why Not Us?

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Follow the journeys of four young people—all first in their families to go to college—as they road-trip across the country to interview inspiring individuals who were also first in their families to pursue higher education. 

After gaining wisdom and guidance from trail-blazing leaders—including Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Grammy Award-winner John Legend, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz—the Roadtrippers are emboldened to embrace the opportunities ahead and ask “why shouldn't I succeed?”

Use with the Why Not Us? Viewing Guide for activities, discussion questions, and resources. 

Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives

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Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives is the true story of 18-year-old Marlin, from Honduras, who survives sexual abuse, immigration to the United States, and substance abuse. Most of the story takes place at APTP, the Albany Park Theater Project in Chicago. APTP is an after-school theater program that makes plays out of people’s real-life stories. This is a documentary—the kids in the film are not actors. Marlín’s story has difficult themes but nothing graphic. The focus is on how the other youth turn her story into a play.

Seizing Their Stories | Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story Film Module

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In this module, we hear Cyntoia analyze and reflect on her past sexual history and victimization as well as one step she recently took in prison in response to that past.

Rosa's Story: Portraits of Girls in the Criminal Justice System | Film Module

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This module takes a look at a teen girl currently under the supervision of the criminal justice system; she is serving a short sentence in an Illinois juvenile detention center. Viewers get snapshots of her childhood and family and some of the adversity she faced in her life.

Cyntoia Reflects: Role Models and Mentors | Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story Film Module

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In this module, viewers examine the ways that individuals, even under difficult circumstances, can inspire others. We see a teen girl serving a life sentence who reflects on her choices.

Cyntoia's Story: Portraits of Girls in the Criminal Justice System | Film Module

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This module takes a look at a teen girl currently under the supervision of the criminal justice system; she is serving a life sentence in an adult state prison in Tennessee. Viewers get snapshots of her childhood and family and some of the adversity she faced in her life.

Each Kindness

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Copies: 7

Each kindness makes the world a little better.

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different; she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya plays alone, and then stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness toward Maya.

Lexile: 
AD640L
Each Kindness

School Rules: Being a Good Citizen at School (2012)

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What does it take to be a good school citizen? How can students become better citizens at school? Engaging, age-appropriate program hosts help students understand five pillars of good school citizenship:

Grade Level: 
Elementary
Length: 
00:14
School Rules: Being a Good Citizen at School

Miracles on Maple Hill (Unabridged)

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A father's wounded heart. A mother's patient love. An eager boy, an impetuous girl, and, above all, the healing power of nature. These are the classic ingredients that fill Virginia Sorensen's Newbery Award-winning novel with a tender power and lift it to classic status.

Grade Level: 
Lexile: 
750L
Length: 
04:42
Miracles on Maple Hill (Unabridged)

Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Unabridged)

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To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig, she's a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toast feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons' bed. BOOM! CRACK! Welcome to the wry and endearing world of Mercy Watson.

Grade Level: 
Lexile: 
450L
Length: 
00:19
Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Unabridged)

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