Character Now!

Character Now Program Recognizes JFK Student, Kennedi Figurs
Posted on 11/02/2021
Character Now Program Recognizes JFK Student, Kennedi Figurs

Every day at John F. Kennedy Middle School, you’ll find eighth grade student Kennedi Figurs working hard to achieve her goals and helping her peers do the same. Kennedi frequently spends time organizing and maintaining the school’s clothing replacement closet that assists students who need clothes to wear to school.

Benita Derico-Owen, a science teacher at JFK Middle, recognized Kennedi in October for the District’s Character Now! program, stating that Kennedi exemplifies the character trait of “having a growth mindset.”

“I've watched Kennedi day in and day out working toward her self-set goals,” Derico-Owen said. “And this inspires and gives me hope for the future.”

Kennedi said she likes to give back to her community because she is thankful to have the support she needs to be successful. The School District of Palm Beach County has been providing character education for students since the 2004-2005 school year.

With the recent addition of state Character Education standards, the District developed a new program called “Character Now!,” that weaves together the new state standards with the District’s existing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) initiatives to better integrate character into the life of the school.

The following are new character themes for the District program:

• Showing empathy and kindness
• Being responsible
• Having a growth mindset
• Demonstrating trustworthiness
• Demonstrating respect
• Being a good citizen

Students are provided with instruction in the standards through the SEL and PBS initiatives. They are then recognized by their schools for demonstrating the character themes.