Modeling and teaching good character has been an important focus since the beginning for Challenge Prep under the leadership of Founder/CEO Dr. Mullings. The past several years, the school has taken part in Character Day, a global movement in schools and organizations to emphasize how important good character traits are for our personal and collective lives.
This year, Challenge Prep has taken this focus one step further by developing an ongoing series about character that is tailored specifically for our K-5 school. Scholars have already experienced one assembly this fall featuring educational entertainer, Steve Pennington and his famous puppet friends. Pennington founded his company ProKids over 30 years ago, and he has been performing for schools, companies, and organizations around the world ever since.
I sat down with Steve Pennington recently to get more insight on what CPCS will be seeing throughout the 2017-18 school year on the subject of character.
Messer: How would you describe your educational programs?
Pennington: My shows communicate messages that encourage, inspire, and motivate kids and families. My goal is to inform kids about how the choices they make everyday really do count and to help parents reinforce the same concepts at home. For Challenge, I will be doing live presentations along with digital and print resources to explore the traits of having a good character.
Messer: Why is teaching Character so important in this day and age?
Pennington: Character is what we instill in our lives; it’s what is on the inside that counts. It informs who we become as people, and I believe it gives us the moral courage that we need to be healthy adults.
Messer: At the September assembly, you introduced a new friend to the scholars at our K-5 school. Can you tell me about him?
Pennington: “Champ” has been living in the imaginations of Challenge Prep since the school was founded, but we’ve only seen him in other forms as our mascot. In September, he came to life in a new form as a puppet, and he is the official spokesperson for the positive messages we communicate to our scholars.
Messer: Speaking of resources, what should parents and teachers be on the lookout for coming their way soon?
Pennington: In addition to monthly videos, we will have downloadable parent resources such as a home guide that goes along with the character word of the month. We will also have posters and other printed resources that teachers can use in the classroom.
Messer: What is coming up next for our scholars and their families?
Pennington: Champ’s next live appearance will be in December, and I have to say, I am so excited to be partnering with the school to bring our cheetah mascot to life. It is such an imaginative way to go about this type of learning.
Stay tuned to the school’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and website for the latest on Champ. A new “Champ” web page will be rolled out on October 30th!
Article by Kim Messer, Executive Director of Communications