During two town hall meetings, they replayed an ABC News special that featured Albuquerque, New Mexico’s effort to strengthen the moral fabric of their community by implementing a community–wide character-building program.
Those who attended the town meetings saw great possibilities for Martin County, not only to break a growing pattern of irresponsible behavior among community sectors, but also to implement a proactive strategy to promote social values and personal character among all age groups.
Under the direction of the late Joe Kordick, founding chairman; CHARACTER COUNTS! in Martin County was officially kicked off in the fall of 1996 and continues today building on the framework for good character, the Six Pillars of Character – Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
Introduced initially in the Martin County School District, CHARACTER COUNTS! in Martin County, a program of United Way of Martin County, is undeniably a community initiative, one that encompasses all segments of our community – our youth, parents and grandparents, teachers, community leaders, and business and faith communities.
CHARACTER COUNTS! promotes the six pillars through the following efforts and partnerships:
CHARACTER COUNTS! provides every school in the Martin County School District (pre-K through grade 12) with resources, activities and special presentations designed to develop and promote good character.
Youth Character Awards
CHARACTER COUNTS! provides recognition for outstanding student role models through the Joe Kordick Youth Character Awards, which honor middle and high school students who have exhibited exemplary character.
CHARACTER COUNTS! collaborates with numerous organizations, including Martin County Parks and Recreation, Martin County government offices, the Martin County School District, law enforcement agencies, the ARC and the Boys & Girls Club.
CHARACTER COUNTS! backs a Mandatory Parent Sports Code of Conduct. Implemented in 2001 in collaboration with Martin County Parks and Recreation, the code successfully serves as a means to reduce the number of incidents of verbal abuse and violent altercations among parents, adult spectators and participants at youth team sports events.
Seminars and Speakers
CHARACTER COUNTS! offers motivational business seminars and speaker presentations.
Businesses are encouraged to participate in the CHARACTER COUNTS! program. Becoming a business partner offers a way to demonstrate commitment to serving your community with integrity.
CHARACTER COUNTS! Week
Special events are held in conjunction with National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week each October.