Thursday, October 4, 2001

PeachStar and CWK Network Bring Character Education into Georgia Classrooms

In an exciting endeavor to address the state-mandated character education requirements for Georgia schools, PeachStar Education Services, a Division of Georgia Public Broadcasting, and CWK Network Inc. have announced a joint partnership that will serve the needs of students and teachers across the state. (PeachStar is known across Georgia for providing high quality educational resources that enrich, inform, and support the Georgia learning community. The Connecting With Kids Network (CWKN) is known nationally for being a leading creator of the very kind of educational and reality-based broadcast programming PeachStar airs in Georgia classrooms).

In 1995, the Georgia State Legislature passed a bill mandating a comprehensive character education program to be developed beginning with the 1996-1997 school year. This "character curriculum" was to assist school children with character development as it related to particular character words such as citizenship and diligence. During the Programming Acquisition Project held at the Georgia Public Broadcasting facility over the spring of 2001, PeachStar discovered CONNECT! through the help of Georgia teachers. CONNECT! is a new offering from CWK that teaches character education according to the very same principles envisioned by both the Georgia legislation and national standards for character education in the classroom.

Beginning in September 2001, PeachStar began airing the first nine episodes of CONNECT!, geared toward students between grades 9-12. The series will air in blocks every Monday through October and will address the following character words: Caring/Compassion, Citizenship, Convictions, Courage, Diligence, Fairness/Justice, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Trustworthiness. In addition to the video component, CONNECT! offers interested schools complete course materials including teacher and student texts, integrated lesson plans, on-line activities, and assessment tools. PeachStar and CWK want to help classroom teachers from schools that have chosen CONNECT! to serve their character education needs to understand and implement the curriculum. To that end, PeachStar and CWK, with the support and assistance of the Georgia Center for Character Education, will offer more than nine day-long trainings across the state to familiarize teachers with the programming and curriculum materials.