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"If you want to go fast, go alone.

If you want to go far, go together."


— African Proverb


A Collaborative Approach 

CITRS works with school, district, and organizational leadership to design and implement initiatives that meet long term goals for sustainable character-centered environments. CITRS does not provide direct instruction to students.  Rather, we empower schools with evidence-based resources and strategies so that teachers can customize instruction to meet the specific needs of their own classrooms and students. 



CITRS utilizes the “train the trainer” concept to promote, unify, inspire, and expand the teachers’ awareness of character and its importance into their own lives and the lives of their students.  The “train the trainer” concept involves training the adults, who will then work with their own students.  We work with the leadership team first, then the teachers, educators or coaches that make up the frontline staff.


While we offer a range of options to meet varying budgets, in order to build a solid foundation of sustainability, we always seek to encourage support for our 3-year Gold Standard program.

Three Options to Meet Every Budget

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CITRS will work with your school and district leadership teams to customize a program that meets the specific needs of your local school community. A tailored program provides many options for training, mentoring, the app, materials, parent/guardian outreach, and reporting to cultivate positive character-centered environments for all students.

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This three-year comprehensive initiative delivers school communities with the most transformative results for sustained character and social emotional development. This proven initiative utilizes best-in-class tools and resources, the app, training, mentoring, and external evaluator reporting of measurable results.  

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Perfect for teachers and homeschoolers, the CITRS-developed app is an affordable and effective solution that brings CC! and CITRS resources to the fingertips of every educator. Lessons are provided daily in multiple forms, including stories, video clips, songs, quotes and challenging inspirations for the entire school community.

Character Development Programming

  • Initial Meeting(s) with Leadership and Staff

  • Organizational-wide survey of all stakeholders

  • Initial Presentation

  • Collaboration with Senior Leadership and Character Champions and/or Program Directors on Curriculum design and implementation​​


  • Curriculum design and implementation

  • Integration of Curriculum into the school/district and Training

  • Work with leadership and staff to Create a Character Culture

  • Multiple strategies to include Strengths Discovery Program and Initial structure work on mission, core values, shared vision and strategic code of conduct

The App Offers Affordable Access for All

CITRS works to continuously innovate new ways to expand our initiatives at a lower cost.  We use technology, data and digital solutions to help make our programs more affordable and scalable.


The CITRS-developed CHARACTER COUNTS! mobile and web-based application (“App)” is the first and only of its kind that offers daily lessons to integrate character development into their daily routines.  Every day, fresh new content is available based on the CHARACTER COUNTS! Six Pillars of Character Framework (Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship).  Daily content includes a daily lesson, a daily inspiration, and a daily quote.  This mobile and web-based application is comprehensive and dynamic, yet simple and easy to use.

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​Character and Social Emotional Development (CSED)

Character development is difficult enough without needing multiple programs.'s groundbreaking new Model Standards for Character & Social Emotional Development (CSED) were developed in partnership with leading experts in the fields of both character and SEL. These comprehensive standards for grades K-12 provide detailed outcomes for students across the four dimensions of character coupled with the five skills of social-emotional learning. CSED is aligned to the full range of current educational approaches, including multi-tiered systems of support, PBIS, trauma-informed initiatives, and restorative practices. 


All CITRS programs, including the app, are aligned to CSED.

We aim to cultivate environments in which students develop both their character strengths and their social-emotional skills. We maintain that schools should not "just" do character development or "just" do SEL because, either way, their programs are incomplete. In order for a program to be truly complete and most effective, it needs to be holistic and aligned with CSED.

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Based on’s CSED Model Standards

  • Performance Character: To demonstrate the character strengths of self-discipline, responsibility, goal setting, and grit. 

  • ​Intellectual Character: To demonstrate the character strengths of curiosity, carefulness, intellectual autonomy and humility, open-mindedness and critical thinking.

  • ​Civic Character: To demonstrate  the character strengths of fairness, respect, volunteering and contributing to the common good. 

  • Moral Character: To demonstrate the character strengths of honesty and integrity, caring and compassion, gratitude, and the courage to take initiative.


  • Responsible decision-making: To make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical principles, safety concerns, appropriate social norms, respect for self and others, and the likely consequence of your decision. 

  • Relationship Skills: To establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups, to communicate clearly, actively listen, collaborate and cooperate, manage conflict constructively, seek and offer help when needed, and resist inappropriate peer pressure. 

  • Social Awareness: To empathize and take the perspective of others, including demonstrating awareness of cultural differences and respect for human dignity. 

  • Self-Management:  To consistently manage and regulate your impulses, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations. 



  • ​Self-Awareness: To recognize, understand, and express your own thoughts, emotions, mindsets, and personal strengths, including how emotions can affect thoughts and actions. 

A Proven Framework

CITRS uses a proven framework comprised of four essential components to launch, implement, and sustain our initiatives: Collaboration, Best Practices, Mentoring, and Whole-School Community. Central to our approach is to grant significant freedom and flexibility for teachers to decide how best to incorporate character development into their respective routines with an extensive tool box of resources. 

​While improvements in school climate do not happen overnight, we are routinely amazed by how quickly the seeds of a school's collective efforts begin to yield noticeable and measurable results. 

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CITRS works alongside educators to customize programs to meet the individual needs and budget requirements of every school.  ​

  • We bring various stakeholders together—including district leadership, local government leaders, community organizations, and third party evaluators.​

  • We secure private funding—from individuals, private companies, and foundations— to supplement school budgets to fund comprehensive programs.

  • We facilitate strategic partnerships with program providers to ensure participating schools have access to the best-in-class resources at the lowest possible cost.

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Best practices are derived from more than a decade of experience working with schools to optimize sustainable outcomes.

  • We utilize evidenced-based curricula, resources, materials and technology.

  • We promote a common language to integrate character development into existing programs, including PBIS, bullying intervention, and restorative practice.

  • We provide the CITRS / CHARACTER COUNTS! app to streamline content and keep daily lessons, daily quotes, and daily inspirations at teachers' fingertips.

  • We measure and report on baseline and annual assessment metrics.

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One can never underestimate the integral role of in-person human interaction to model best practices and behaviors.

  • ​We provide on-site training and mentorship for principals, teachers and parents—for three years.

  • We invest in Mentor/Coaches to support all aspects of program implementation including on-site introductory training, monthly visits, and periodic check-ins.

  • We work with the school leadership to identify Character Champions who are members of the staff and community to volunteer to lead day-to-day communications and activities. 

It takes the entire school community to improve school climate with comprehensive character development.

  • We recommend that school participation be voluntary and at the sole discretion of the school principal.  Without the ownership and leadership of the school principal, the program simply will not be successful long term.

  • We provide strategies and direct support to get everyone engaged—from teachers, to parents, to custodial staff, to bus drivers, to athletic coaches, to counselors, to students—plus everyone in between!   ​

  • We use data to measure and report on important program fidelity metrics.

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