HAMILTON, NJ -- Hamilton Township's Grice Middle School has earned the prestigious distinction as a "National School of Character."   The title was given by Character.org Character.org, a national advocate and leader for character development in our schools and communities.  

“Congratulations to the entire Grice Middle School community for this well-deserved honor. The character education on display at Grice is a fine example of the shared values the students, teachers, and administrators have for each other. They have worked hard for this designation, and I am proud of them and their efforts,” said Dr. Scott Rocco, Superintendent of Schools. 

Mr. David R. Innocenzi, Grice Middle School Principal added, “I am extremely proud of the staff and community for making this hard-to-achieve dream become a reality. Over the years, the Grice Middle School Staff never lost sight that our number one priority was not ourselves, but our students. We not only teach character, we model it every day.” 

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Only 84 schools nationwide received the designation. 

“Each of these schools and school districts has put in place a comprehensive approach to help their students understand, care about, and consistently practice the core values that will enable them to flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens," said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, President of Character.org.

Since its inception, the National Schools of Character program has impacted nearly 3 million students, staff, parents, and community members. The schools and school districts who apply must meet the rigorous standards articulated in Character.org’s 11 Principles Framework for Schools. Each school is evaluated by a team of trained educators and includes a site visit to assess how a school’s “shared values” are motivating students to do the right thing.

“These schools and school districts serve as an exemplary model for all schools and districts across the nation,” adds Lori Soifer, who directs the Schools of Character program. “The educators at these schools are inspiring their students to treat all people with respect and dignity. They are teaching their students to be honest and trustworthy, to contribute their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right.” 

Founded in 1993, Character.org is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that seeks to provide the voice, visibility, and resources for educators to build nurturing and supportive school cultures that focus on core values and character strengths vital to student and school success.

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