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Laura Bush participates with Catherine Crier in the Conference on Character and Community hosted by Court TV and the US Department of Education and held at Maplewood Richmond High School, Maplewood, Missouri, Oct. 23, 2002. White House photo by Susan Sterner.

Character and Community: A Town Hall Meeting with America's Youth, St. Louis, MO October 23, 2002

On October 23, 2002, Mrs. Bush spoke with parents, students, teachers, and community members at the Maplewood-Richmond High School in St. Louis, Missouri, on how everyone can participate in the design and administration of character-building programs.

Programs at the local level help states work with school districts to develop curriculum materials, provide teacher training, involve parents in character education, and integrate character education into the curriculum.

Each program incorporates six elements of character:

  • Caring
  • Civic virtue and citizenship
  • Justice and fairness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Trustworthiness

Character education is designed to help reduce discipline problems and improve student achievement, increase participation in extracurricular activities, and increase parent and community involvement. Students, parents and teachers can become active in helping their communities while building character through programs like the USA Freedom Corps.

Also, grants funded through the Department of Education provide millions of dollars in support to help schools develop character education programs. For Information about Partnerships in Character Education Programs at the Department of Education, contact:

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Program Information:

Grant Information:

For further information on how to join the volunteer network, contact the USA Freedom Corps:

The USA Freedom Corps
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Phone: 1-877-USA-CORPS

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White House Conference on Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers
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Mrs. Bush's Character and Community Initiative
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