EAST HANOVER, NJ- Character.org has recently honored Frank J. Smith School by naming it a 2017 NJ School of Character. The organization is one of America’s leading advocates for character education in the classroom and has recognized Frank J. Smith for their dedication to this philosophy. They now join a list of only 24 schools that were given this honor in the whole state.

Character.org was founded in 1993 and utilizes its 11 Principles of Effective Character Education to evaluate school districts across the country on the integration of character education in the classroom. The principles include providing opportunities for moral action, promoting self-motivation, fostering shared leadership and support, engaging families and the community, and a dedication to a meaningful and respectful academic curriculum. These principles and many others form the cornerstone of Character.org’s educational philosophy and gives them the tools to provide feedback to school districts and, as in the case of Frank J. Smith, congratulate them on their successful programs.

Since getting its start, the organization has singled out more than 500 schools as a State School of Character. Each of these schools have programs that utilize character development to raise the standards of their academics, student behavior and school climate. The impact of these character integration tactics can be seen through improved scholastic achievement, a drop off in behavioral problems amongst students and a more positive and welcoming educational community.

The school systems have been moving toward a more holistic approach to student education over the past several years. Now more than ever the focus is on “whole child” education that looks not only at imparting knowledge, but valuable life skills and lessons to the students. Frank J. Smith received this honor because of their dedication to this ideal and their efforts to see their students excel both in intellectual pursuits and in life.