There’s more to school than academics

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DENVER -- Reading, writing, arithmetic.  Essential skills for kids to learn at a typical school like Green Valley Elementary.  But unlike a typical school, kids are learning something not normally taught in other schools.

Virtues.

Students at Green Valley are learning 15 character traits, ranging from caring to courage.

“We really think that there is more to school than just academics,” said school psychologist Adam Parker.

Spearheaded by Parker and behavior interventionist Sarah Davis, the curriculum that teaches ethics to students is called social emotional.

“So in the morning a 20-minute community circle, everyone’s checking in.  You are learning some new stuff, you’re learning some of these character traits,” Parker said.

Twenty-four students are chosen every month by teachers who are demonstrating and mastering the virtue of the month.  Once chosen and recognized, the kids, with a little help from Parker and Davis, get to make a music video.

The monthly videos are like icing on the cake, but is the program inspiring the student body?

“Suspensions are way down.  Way less fighting.  We are in the 0 to 3 percent range, which is pretty phenomenal," Parker said.

If letting kids dance on tape inspire them to be good kids, then roll tape.

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