Creating A Culture of Caring at Park Avenue

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The six pillars of character were prominently on display throughout Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District as it hosted Character Counts Week in October.
    
The highlight of the week was a door-decorating contest. Each class was assigned a pillar of character — caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness — and had to dress up the door to reflect that trait. Student Council members judged the finished doors and chose the winners.
    
Throughout October, there has been a Character Counts weekly raffle. Students received tickets for performing good deeds and making good choices, and each week four names were drawn. During Character Counts Week, the prize was a pizza lunch with Principal Robyn Santiago.
    
The students also created a colorful paper chain in the lobby. Each child wrote their name on a link, then picked one of the six traits and wrote what that means to them. The links were connected to show the school’s unity.
    
Sixth-grader Amaya Nelson said of all the traits, the most important one is respect. “You have to treat other students with respect and you have to be fair,” she said. “You have to include them, not exclude.”