A charge of character is sparking all over Buffalo. As support grows for the CITRS / Character Counts! Character Development Initiative, which involves 22 schools in the Buffalo Public School District (BPSD), the community is taking notice. As of August 26, 2017, the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo became a funder of the BPSD Initiative, supporting the effort with a year-long grant of $25,000
CITRS Lead Mentor/Coach of Western New York, Suzanne Bracci, is thrilled about the new support, saying, “This grant will give us the opportunity to further the mission we are on – to create a culture and climate of good character, not only in the school setting, but in the community as well. We are very grateful for the financial support of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.”
The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo grant will support CITRS in providing the resources, training, coaching, and hands-on professional development that enables teachers and leaders to effectively teach and model good character. As teachers incorporate character development into existing curricula and daily routines, the results speak for themselves: time spent managing poor behavior decreases, academic performance increases, and students hold higher expectations of themselves and their peers.
The short-term outcomes seen within the first three years of the initiative include:
· Improved school culture and climate;
· Increased attendance, parental involvement, ethical and moral decision-making, pro-social behavior and problem-solving skills;
· Decreased bullying, violent threats and altercations; and
· Decrease in negative behaviors (lying, cheating, stealing), truancy and disciplinary actions.
In addition to the short-term outcomes, the following are long-term impacts that will be felt long after the initiative’s initial implementation:
· Improved, sustainable school culture and climate;
· Increased academic achievement, student grade progression, and graduation rates;
· Lowers costs by decreasing the need for behavioral management interventions;
· Improved personal relationships; and
· Career readiness leading to success in the workplace.
The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. The Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas, and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Since 1919 the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. www.cfgb.org.