NEWTON, NJ-- The New Jersey Association for Social, Emotional, and Character Development is proud to announce that 23 schools including Merriam Avenue School in Newton is one of only  23 schools and two districts to have the distinction of being named 2017 New Jersey Schools of Character. 

These schools, including Merriam Avenue School, will be considered by, formerly known as the Character Education Partnership, a national character education advocate.  The national organization evaluates the submitted schools for the possibility of being named 2017 National Schools /Districts of Character.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for the daily efforts to make good character a hallmark of Merriam Avenue School. On behalf of the Board of Education and entire community, I offer my congratulations to our staff, students, and parents,” said Superintendent Dr. Kennedy Greene.

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The criteria for the designations are based on’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, including:

  • Providing students with opportunities for moral action
  • Fostering shared leadership
  • Engaging families and communities as partners in character-building efforts.

“You can feel the positive climate in these schools the minute you walk through the door. The students, staff and community are respectful and care about each other, and the academics scores improve," states Nina Kemps, New Jersey Schools of Character Coordinator.

The Recognition Ceremony for all of the New Jersey schools will take place during the NJASECD Conference on May 19, 2017 at Rider University. The theme of the conference is, “CHARACTER IS FOREVER: Building Your Program to Last!”

The 2017 National Schools of Character will be announced in mid-May at a press conference in Washington, D.C. will also honor these schools and districts at the 24th National Forum on Character Education, to be held Oct. 20-21, 2017 in Washington, DC.