CITY OF AKRON, OH
Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic

CHARACTER COUNTS - AKRON

1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

The City of Akron Character Counts Task Force will design and implement a comprehensive plan with the commitment to strengthen the character of the youth of Akron to combat violence by encouraging youth to adopt and model the Six Pillars of Character: Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

2. When was the program created and why?

The Character Counts Program was created several years ago by Dr. Michael Josephson in California. The Character Counts Program started in Akron more than a year ago at the urging of the Mayor. It was brought to Akron to teach citizens about character. Thereís a feeling that it isnít being taught at home the way it once was, so communities are now taking upon themselves to do it for children and adults, in schools, community organizations, churches, sports and other areas.

3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?

By developing specific result oriented objectives which will indicate the improvement of action by youths through out the school system.

4. How is the program financed?

Weíre still working on financing through grant proposals and approaching foundations

for donations. We are currently in the process of obtaining "charitable organization" status. The City of Akron has funded some of the training of employees and citizens. Other individuals and organizations have also helped up to this point.

5. How is the community involved, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?

The community is involved at all levels: government, schools, churches, civic groups, PTAís and other family organizations, businesses and more. Each entity is represented on a steering committee that meets monthly. So far the response has been tremendous. The National Character Counts Organization says Akron has more people trained to teach the program (which was one of our goals last year) than any other community in the country.

6. Contact Person:

Doug Powley, Chief Prosecutor, (330) 375-2730

Dorothy Jackson, Deputy Mayor, (330) 375-2345.

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