Archived Item - for information purposes only

September 2001

To: District Superintendents of Schools
Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools
Principals of Public and Nonpublic Schools
Education Associations
From: James A. Kadamus
Subject: Project SAVE, Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act: Instruction in Civility, Citizenship and Character Education


The State Legislature and the Governor have enacted a new law which requires instruction in civility, citizenship and character education. The new law amends existing Education Law as follows:

"801-a. Instruction in civility, citizenship and character education. The regents shall ensure that the course of instruction in grades kindergarten through twelve includes a component on civility, citizenship and character education. Such component shall instruct students on the principles of honesty, tolerance, personal responsibility, respect for others, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity and other traits which will enhance the quality of their experiences in, and contributions to, the community. The regents shall determine how to incorporate such component in existing curricula and the commissioner shall promulgate any regulations needed to carry out such determination of the regents."

New York State Learning Standards for social studies and for health, physical education, and family and consumer sciences include many of the elements listed in the Project SAVE curricular requirements. State Social Studies Standard 5, Civics, Citizenship, and Government, focuses on basic civic values such as justice, honesty, self-discipline, due process, equality, majority rule with respect for minority rights, and respect for self, others, and property. This standard also emphasizes the important rights, roles, and responsibilities of citizenship, including ways that citizens can participate in our constitutional democracy. The one-half unit social studies requirement, participation in government, reinforces these concepts and provides a culminating learning experience for students as they prepare to assume the roles of citizens in our society. Learning Standard 2 for health, physical education and family and consumer sciences, A Safe and Healthy Environment, calls for students to demonstrate personally and socially responsible behavior, to care for and respect themselves and others, to recognize threats to the environment and to demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior while engaged in physical activity.

School districts are encouraged to establish a process for analyzing their existing efforts, kindergarten through twelfth grade, in providing instruction in civility, citizenship and character education. Through this process, districts can build upon established practices to strengthen curriculum and staff development in these areas. Attached are lists of materials to assist school districts in complying with the requirements for instruction in civility, citizenship and character education. These lists are offered as a resource to school districts in meeting the requirements of the SAVE legislation. Updated information can be found at as it becomes available.


This list includes a number of publications that have been distributed to school districts and are currently available, at little or no cost, through the Publications Sales Desk, Third Floor Education Building, Albany, NY, 12234 or (518) 474-3806.


Social Studies Resource Guide with Core Curriculum. Albany, NY: The State Education Department, 1999, 198 pgs. (core curriculum, supplementary material, K-12)Price: $5.00

This core curriculum contains the content outlines and concepts and themes for social studies grades K-12. Each outline for grades 7-11 also describes examples of connections that link content over time and place and includes suggested historical documents. These documents can be used to develop student learning activities linked to the social studies standards.

The Preschool Planning Guide: Building a Foundation for Development of Language and Literacy in the Early Years. Albany, NY: The State Education Department, 1998, 65 pgs. (supplementary material)

Price: $4.00

The guide is designed to be used by teachers in universal prekindergarten classrooms in the public schools and in community based sites as well as by other childhood educators. The guide delineates the characteristics of a quality preschool program: it suggests that children’s success in meeting the State’s more rigorous standards begins at the preschool level.

Social Studies Program, K(Updated 1988) ED 299 205, 69 pgs.(syllabus, grade K)

Price: $3.00

A syllabus for Kindergarten that focuses on helping students develop awareness of themselves as growing individuals. It stresses a child’s unique qualities and similarities to others.

Social Studies Grade 12: Participation in Government, 1988, ED 302 467, 51 pgs.(tentative syllabus, grade 12)

Price: $3.00

A syllabus that outlines a one-semester course of study in participation in government. It presents "Characteristics of Effective Citizens in a Democratic Society," discusses the "Rationale and Guidelines for Participation in Government," and provides a number of alternative models for structuring course content.

Social Studies Program, 3 (Updated 1988), ED 304 378, 89 pgs. (syllabus, grade 3)

Price: $3.00

A syllabus for grade 3 that focuses on communities around the world. It uses five perspectives: social/cultural, political, economic, geographic, and historic.

Social Studies Program, 1 (Updated 1987), ED 287 788, 73 pgs. (syllabus, grade 1)

Price: $3.00

A syllabus for grade 1 that focuses on helping students realize their roles as members of a family and school community. It stresses development of identity and social interaction skills.

Social Studies Program, 2 (Updated 1987), ED 292 742, 91 pgs. (syllabus, grade 2)

Price: $3.00

A syllabus for grade 2 that focuses on rural, urban, and suburban communities in the United States. It uses five perspectives: social/cultural, political, economic, geographic, and historic.

Social Studies Program, 4 (Updated 1987), ED 295 882, 81 pgs. (syllabus, grade 4)

Price: $3.00

A syllabus for grade 4 that focuses on political institutions and historic development. It stresses study of the local community with comparisons to State and national experiences.

Social Studies Program, 5 (Updated 1987), 90 pgs. (syllabus, grade 5)

Price: $3.00

A syllabus for grade 5 that focuses on the United States, Canada, and Latin America. It stresses geographic, economic, and social/ cultural understandings.

Social Studies Program, 6 (Updated 1987), ED 292 743, 108 pgs. (syllabus, grade 6)

Price: $3.00

A syllabus for grade 6 that focuses on Western and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It stresses the interdependence of all people and the child’s relationship to other members of different world communities.

Safety Education Syllabus: Grades K-12. Albany, NY: The State Education Department, 1986, ED 272 462, 42 pgs.

(syllabus, grades K-12)

Price: $3.00

The State syllabus for a program of study in safety education at all grade levels. It provides a comprehensive plan to help local school districts review State laws and current safety programs, develop local programs, recognize interrelatedness of program offerings from level to level, and evaluate programs and students. The syllabus supports a preventive approach by which students can learn to identify unsafe conditions, decide on appropriate actions to take, and reduce risks or hazards to their well being.

Social Studies Program. K-6 (Seven publications). Albany, NY: The State Education Department, 1982. (syllabus, grades K-6)

Price: see individual publications below

The State syllabus for a program of study in elementary-level social studies. It focuses on social studies concepts (social, political, economic, geographic, historic), content understandings, skills, and activities. Each grade-level book contains two sections: a teacher notebook and a grade-level syllabus. The teacher notebook discusses concept and skill goals, student evaluation, use of literature, development of citizenship competency, participation projects, and classroom climate.

Toward Civic Responsibility. Albany, NY: The State Education Department, 1978, ED 161 808, 153 pgs.
(supplementary material, grades 7-8)

Price: $3.00

Stresses governing processes and a citizen’s responsibilities. Each chapter includes knowledge and skill objectives, activities, references, and visual aids. After participating in a number of different activities, students should be able to identify the main functions of government, understand governmental power structures, illustrate rights and responsibilities in a democracy, define American values, recognize the need for an informed citizenry, and explain decision-making responsibilities.

The Humanities Series. Critical Thinking and Reasoning: A Handbook for Teachers, Albany, NY: The State Education Department, 1976, (Reprinted 1996) 148 pgs. (supplementary material)

Price : $1.75

This handbook outlines approaches and procedures useful in answering the pivotal question: how can we humanize all education?



The following resource materials are available, at little or no cost, to school districts through the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program, a joint initiative of the State Education Department and the New York State Bar Association since 1974.


Living Together Under the Law: An Elementary Education Law Guide

The Rights of Children All Over the World (Text and Student Workbook)

Global History 9-10

Stories Old and New: International Human Rights Law: Teaching its Historical Development, Current Content, and Future Significance

International Law and the Society of Nations

(Text, Teacher’s Guide, Case Materials)

Grades 11/12

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions: A Case Study Review for U.S. History and Government

(A Teacher and Student Guide)

Teaching Strategies for U.S. Supreme Court Decisions: Teaching Strategies, Thematic Essays, and Document Based Questions

The Bill of Rights: More Than Mere Parchment

The Noblest Institution: Teaching About the Right to Trial by Jury in New York

The Courts of New York

Law Studies

"Implementing Project SAVE: Building Connections Between Discipline and Civility, Citizenship and Character Education" (Summer 2001)

"Concerning Crime and Punishment"

"Working for Justice"

"Confronting Violence"

Student Rights

Rights & Responsibilities of Young People in New York: A Guide for Educators and Human Service Providers

Public Education and the Law

Student Learning Experience

Statewide High School Mock Trial Materials

(See the LYC Website)

Civil Mini Trials (Freedom Law Day materials)




SECTION I: The following character education programs are presently in use in school districts in New York State and have been recommended by representatives of the Staff and Curriculum Development Network or Teacher Centers.

Athletes Helping Athletes – used district-wide in Nassau County. Professional and amateur athletes provided training for students in the areas of drug, alcohol and violence prevention. Contact: Gene Silverman, Nassau BOCES (

Center for the 4th and 5th Rs - serves as a regional, state and national resource in character education. The Center disseminates articles on character education, sponsors an annual summer institute in character education, publishes a Fourth and Fifth Rs newsletter, and is building a network of " Fourth and Fifth Rs Schools" committed to teaching respect, responsibility and other core ethical values as the basis of good character.

Character Education Partnership - ( is a non-partisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the idea that character and education are natural partners in helping children become ethical, responsible adults.

Connecting Character to Conduct – a non-add-on program developed by CCI, Inc. in which teachers can integrate character into the curriculum Used by a number of school districts in New York State as well as other states. Endorsed by American Society for Curriculum Development. Contact person is Dr. Rita Prager Stein (

EPIC: Every Person Influences Children – a national prevention program that helps parents, teachers and the community to raise responsible adults.

Habits of Thought: Part of the Peaceful Solutions Program, an innovative approach to teaching techniques of conflict resolution and violence prevention. Widely used in Connecticut and New York State.

Lesson Plans for Character Education – a K-12 program published by The Master Teacher, Leadership Lane, PO Box 1207, Manhattan, KS 66505.

Natural Helpers: Students and school adults identified through an anonymous school-wide survey.

School Decision Making and Problem Solving – a curriculum to help children develop self-control, social awareness and problem solving skills, a K-8 program implemented successfully for eight years in a number of New York State school district. Developed by the University of Medicine and Dentistry at Rutgers University.

Second Steps and Steps to Respect – produced by the Committee for Children (FAX: (206-343-1445), this widely used violence prevention program has received a top rating from the U.S. Department of Education.

Teaching Tolerance and Character Development – a packaged framework for instruction about "bullying" and peer leadership. This is a staff development program consisting of workshops based on The World of Difference. Contact: Mary Stokkers (631) 673-2060.

Visions and Voices – a character education program developed by the Binghamton City School District in collaboration with Binghamton University and the Robertson Museum and Science Center. The program integrates the New York State Standards in ELA and social studies. E-mail:

World of Difference – a K-12 series of lessons which stress tolerance. Uses peer trainers as well as faculty. Used in connection with Teaching and Character Development. Contact: Mary Stokkers (631) 673-2060.

SECTION II: The following character education resource materials have been recommended by the New York State Athletic Administrators Association, New York State Association of Independent Schools, New York State Federation of Secondary School Athletic Associations, New York State Public High School Athletic Association, New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, New York State Council of Administrators, Physical Education Department at SUNY Cortland, and the New York City Public School Athletic League. These Associations, in partnership with the New York State Education Department, have developed an "Educational Framework for Athletics" which addresses the areas of competence, character, civility and citizenship. The Framework, which will be available this Fall, provides a guide for staff development, workshops, parent meetings and program evaluation to strengthen the overall educational experience of athletics in New York State schools.

Character Education Partnership. (2000). Guidelines for Effective Character Education Through

Sports. Washington, DC: Beedy, J.P. & Gough, R.H.

Clifford, C. & Feezell, R.M. (1997). Coaching For Character: Reclaiming the Principles

of Sportsmanship. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Gough, R. (1997). Character is Everything: Promoting Ethical Excellence in Sports.

Forth Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace.

Lickona, T. (1994). Educating for Character. New York, NY: Bamtam Books.

Malmberg, E. (2000). The sport report: A character assessment and teaching tool.

Strategies, 13(4). NASPE Publications/AAHPERD.

New York State Association of Independent Schools. (2001, February). From Civility to Respect.

(Bulletin #255). Schenectady, NY: Calder, F.C., Executive Director.

Smoll, F.L. & Smith, R.E. (1997). Coaches Who Never Lose: Making Sure Athletes Win No Matter

What the Score. Portola Valley, CA: Warde Publishers.

Wolfe, R. (1997). The Concerned Parent's Guide to Competitive Youth Sports.

Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing, Inc.

Yeager, J.M., Buxton, J.N., Baltzell, A.L., & Bzdell, W.B. (2001). Character and Coaching: Building Virtue in Athletic Programs. Port Chester, NY: Dude Publishing.


Listed below are general character education resources that are available from other States.


Character Education

(California Department of Education)

The Clearinghouse provides Character Education curriculum, library resources, classroom lessons, and literature sources that can be used with history and social science curricula in grades kindergarten through twelve.

Illinois - Character Education - Chicago Style

This is a program that is designed to reduce truancy, suspensions, student misbehavior, and other classroom problems, and at the same, increase academic performance, improve staff/student relationships, and bolster parent involvement.

Children learn how to act by how they are treated, they learn right from wrong by what is rewarded or punished, and which values are held in high regard from history and experience. Once these lessons are learned, they last a lifetime.

Maine - Taking Responsibility: Standards for Ethical and Responsible Behavior in Maine Schools and

This report, recently released by the Maine Department of Education, represents the work of Maine's Commission on Ethical and Responsible Student Behavior, co-chaired by Institute founder and president Rushworth Kidder. Taking Responsibility helps communities develop standards by suggesting processes and programs for long-term changes in attitudes, structures, and climate in our schools.

Missouri - CHARACTERplus

Within the cultural diversity of schools there is a core set of values that all share. CHARACTERplus models, teaches and communicates these shared beliefs and values, e.g., responsibility, respect, humanity, honesty, self-esteem and cooperation. As a result, students will adopt these beliefs and values as a part of their personal ethics and become positive contributors to society. CHARACTERplus, of Cooperative School Districts, annually hosts a national character education conference in July in St. Louis, MO.

New Jersey - New Jersey Character Education Network

The New Jersey Department of Education has a seven-year history of program activity promoting the development of character and values education in the state's schools. More than half of the state's 596 school districts have implemented program and policy activities. These activities are supported by professional development and networking opportunities and four department publications.

North Carolina - North Carolina Character Education Partnerships

The North Carolina Partnership in Character Education is comprised of three county school systems (Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Cumberland, and Wake) working collaboratively with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Center for the Prevention of School Violence. The Partnership will develop, pilot, and disseminate a model character education program that can be replicated and adapted throughout the state and across the country.

South Carolina - South Carolina Department of Education

South Carolina is one of the states to receive grants from the US Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Education. The site contains reports outlining the Character Education programs and resources for teachers and administrators.


A nonpartisan, nonsectarian coalition of schools, communities and nonprofit organizations working to advance character education by teaching the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. This initiative is designed to help reduce youth violence, crime, unwanted pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases and other anti-social conduct.

Under the terms of a two-year $900,000 state grant to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Josephson Institute, CHARACTER COUNTS! will team up with the Texas Education Agency to develop materials and programs designed to help young people learn core ethical values.

Utah - Utah State Office of Education

The Utah State Office of Education provides Character Education curriculum resources that emphasize the necessity for schools to work in partnership with families and other community members to develop and implement character and citizenship education programs.

Character is Destiny: Light the Fire Within

The Governor's Music & Education Program curriculum celebrates the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and its theme "Light the Fire Within." Identifying the virtues such as respect, sportsmanship, fairness, self-discipline, and courage, common to Olympians, helps inspire students in school and personal life.

In Utah, Character Education is included as part of the core curriculum. The State's strategic plan for education states, "Character/Citizenship Development will be the underlying thread taught by all educators to all ages and in all areas."

Curriculum that embraces character education provides students with a foundation for future success. Character and values make individuals and communities strong. Character is the heart of achievement whether it is in academics, athletics of life.

Washington - The Washington State Partnership on Character Education

The Washington State Partnership on Character Education began in 1996 and was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction coordinates this four-year project whose purpose is to develop a rich resource of community-based models for infusing a local definition of character into Washington schools.