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Character Counts

Character Counts logo

Character Counts is an approach to character education that includes every student in every class. The program is based on six pillars of ethical values that we can agree on; values that are not political, religious, or culturally biased.

The Turlock Unified School District is in the process of piloting the materials of Character Counts offered through Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics. We at Lloyd G. Cunningham School are not formally participating in the pilot program, but as the members of our Strategic Plan continually discussed, good ethical comportment is a critical if we are to succeed as students, parents, teaching staff, and a community.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the six pillars below and share them with your child.


Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat, or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country


Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements


Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes • Set a good example for others


Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly • Treat all people fairly


Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need


Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment • Volunteer

Six Pillar Mnemonics

Help young people remember the Pillars by using these creative devices.

Trustworthiness: Blue
Think "true blue"

Respect: Yellow/gold
Think The Golden Rule

Responsibility: Green
Think being responsible for a garden or finances; or as in being solid and reliable like an oak

Fairness: Orange
Think of dividing an orange into equal sections to share fairly with friends

Caring: Red
Think of a heart

Citizenship: Purple
Think regal purple as representing the state

Students can use this acronym to help them remember that people with good character are terrific:
T rustworthiness
R espect
R esponsibility
F airness
C aring
C itizenship