The Pillar of Citizenship

The Pillar of Citizenship

The Character Counts Coalition uses the color purple to symbolize the pillar of Citizenship. 

During the month of December, we are focusing on the pillar of Citizenship. Some of the events in the world over the last couple of years have brought to the forefront the notion of citizenship and patriotism in the hearts of many Americans. We as educators hope to take advantage of this opportunity and make these principles both active and alive in our children and ourselves. Within ourselves we must search to find the spirit and determination to be the best we can, knowing that in doing so, we benefit the whole of our communities and country. We hope this information is helpful to you so that you may understand what your child is learning at school and to reinforce and continue the learning process at home.

What does it mean to be a Good Citizen?

  • Good citizens do their share to help their families and communities to be better.
  • They are good neighbors.
  • They obey rules, laws, cooperate with others.
  • They respect parents, teachers, and others in authority.
  • They protect the environment.
  • Stay informed about important issues and vote.
  • They are responsible for themselves.
  • They demonstrate good sportsmanship.
  • They have a positive attitude.

Key Ideas

  • Do your share:  Be a good neighbor and a good citizen. Contribute to the common good. Volunteer to make things cleaner, safer, and better for all. Protect the environment by conserving resources, reducing pollution and cleaning up after yourself. Speak up to make things better; don’t just complain. Vote. Report wrongdoings.
  • Respect authority and the law: Play by the rules even when it is disadvantageous to do so. Be cooperative. Follow the laws. Obey parents and teachers. Take time to learn about how the government works. Respect all people, animals, plants, and property.

Quotes

“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“The most important political office is that of private citizen.” - Louis Brandeis

“When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

For You To Consider

  • Being a citizen comes with rights, duties and privileges. With every right we are given comes the responsibility to exercise it in a fair manner and to work toward helping fellow citizens do the same.
  • Real citizenship is active! Citizenship demands participation, involvement, and contribution. No one makes a difference without being involved.
  • People have no choice about the family or country they are born into, but people do have a choice about whether to be responsible members of their families and communities.

Things You Can Do To Raise Good Citizens

  • Minimize waste. Recycle and conserve.
  • Reinforce the importance of school rules and that they must be followed.
  • Reinforce the importance of sportsmanship.
  • Reuse boxes and shopping bags.
  • Notice nature around you. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Look for animals. Appreciate the flowers and trees around you.
  • Plant a garden with your children. Allow them to help with the yard work and gardening. Grow your own herbs or vegetables.
  • Plant a seed or tree and watch it grow.
  • Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth or doing the dishes.
  • Participate in a beach clean up day or plan your own for your family for an hour. If not the beach, use your neighborhood park.
  • Carpool or walk instead of using a car.
  • Encourage your children to watch shows on nature, science, or animals to broaden their knowledge and appreciation.
  • As a family, research and select a charity to donate to. Encourage your children to donate a portion of their allowance. Plan to participate as a family to help at the local shelter, senior center, food kitchen, or for an elderly neighbor.
  • Have discussions about current events so that your children can become aware of what the important issues are and how politicians or community officials are handling them. Have your children see you reading the newspaper, watching the news and getting involved in community services.
  • Observe and follow traffic rules.
  • Show and explain to your children how the election process works and how to utilize resources to stay informed of the issues before you vote.
  • Model citizenship behaviors and notice when your children are being good citizens in order to reinforce those desired behaviors.