Character Counts




Community Partners


Bellport High School

Character counts! is also very visible throughout Bellport High School where two bulletin boards contain posters, inspirational displays and information about activities and opportunities offered through Character Counts! Character Counts! activities at the High School are carried out largely through a partnership with members of Student Council whose hard work and devotion create so many positive opportunities for students in the High School and throughout the district.

Early in the year volunteers from the High School spent several days working with Habitat For Humanity through their “Women Work” outreach program and contributed greatly to the building of a home in Patchogue for a family in need.

During the annual “Safe Halloween” festivities, Character Counts! hosted a room in the High School where children could come in to draw and sign their name on a big coloring board, learn more about and share their own experiences with the Six Pillars of Character( and of course receive treats!)

A field trip has been organized to take 40 High School students (10 from each grade) to the Tolerance Museum in N.Y.C. The goal is to have students return from this experience with a renewed sense of understanding and strategies to foster harmonious relations amongst the very diverse group of students who attend our schools. We are also hoping to have representatives from the Tolerance Center come and do a presentation at the High School later in the school year.  This field trip was funded partially by a generous grant from the South Country Education Foundation.

In conjunction with student council and generous donations from community members, the Character Counts committee also was able to deliver Thanksgiving food baskets to families in need in our district as well as Christmas gifts which were donated by the Women’s Auxiliary.


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Bellport Middle School

Bellport Middle School (BMS) is a proud participant in the national CHARACTER COUNTS! Program.  CHARACTER COUNTS! teaches character education through the basic values called the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

The BMS CHARACTER COUNTS! Committee is working hard to recognize and promote good character.  Here are some highlights of the activities that our school is participating in this school year:

Please note that the Pillars of the month are not in alignment with the South Country District Calendar.

Daily homeroom announcements highlighting positive character traits and guest readers to share motivational quotes, based on the pillar of the month.

  • Decorating the halls and lunchrooms with CHARACTER COUNTS! signs and banners to raise awareness
  • Flying a CHARACTER COUNTS! flag under our American flag in front of the school, weather permitting
  • Designing a monthly bulletin board, based on the pillar of the month: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring or citizenship
  • Celebrating students who exhibit good character on a monthly basis through our CHARACTER COUNTS! “Caught Being Good” Students of the Month recognition and rewards program.
  • Decorating a large, highly visible CHARACTER COUNTS! “Caught Being Good” bulletin board in the building to recognize students displaying positive character traits.
  • Weekly homeroom announcements recognizing those students “Caught Being Good”
  • Inviting all students and staff to participate in monthly homeroom contests to raise awareness of the six pillars of character.  Grade level homerooms with the most students wearing the color corresponding to the pillar of the month on a pre-announced date receive school-wide recognition.

Building Team

Bernie Soete
Lindsay Blaszcyk
Tracey Byrnes
Gabrielle Coyne
Gail Freeman
Katrina Kulbokas
Erin Malaney
Debrea Merritt
Kyle Moodt
Christine Napolitano
Liz Orsino
Jordan Pepe
Elizabeth Sinclair
Jennifer Tully
Michele Yula
Barbara Yusko

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Frank P. Long Intermediate School

Students and staff are very excited to share the wonderful character building activities we have done in recent months.  Each month, a pillar is highlighted and the building CC! committee coordinates an activity for that pillar.  In September we highlighted “Responsibility”.  Students showed responsibility by bringing in their gym clothes for P.E.  Classes who showed 100% participation earned a golden sneaker award and had their photo taken which was then displayed on our CHARACTER COUNTS! bulletin board.  “Trustworthiness” was emphasized in October.  Students entered a contest to write the school’s new motto which would also be featured in a school song written by our music teacher, Mrs. Pearce.  Judges selected the top ten entries and those students had their photo taken to be displayed on the bulletin board.  The winning entry was written by Emily DeSantis: “Its okay to listen to others voices but be sure to make your own good choices!”

In November, we conducted a food drive for two local food pantries to demonstrate “Citizenship”.  Classes worked as a team to bring in food.  Each class tallied the amount of food brought in and winners were determined by percentage of participation depending on their class size.  Winning classes had their pictures taken for the bulletin board.

December’s pillar was “Respect”.  At 2pm on December 16th, the entire school building stopped to listen to a reading of “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Dr. Dabrusky and Mrs. Gurney.  Teachers had books and Power Point presentations for the students to view as the administrators read.  Following the reading, teachers discussed with students about how to fill someone’s bucket by being respectful and caring.  Students wrote essays about a time when they filled someone’s bucket.  The CC! committee chose 10 winners whose essays and photos were displayed on the CHARACTER COUNTS! bulletin board in the main hall.

Aside from these building level activities, students and staff at Frank P. Long donated 460 lbs. of food to Long Island Cares during National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week, and participated in the Homecoming Parade, and the community photograph.


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Brookhaven Elementary School

Our Character Counts!  program is alive and well at Brookhaven Elementary!  Here are some activities that the school has participated in already this school year:

Our 16-member Character Counts! Committee includes administrators, teachers from all grades (pre-K through 3rd), speech therapists and mental health specialists.  We meet regularly and oversee all CC! activities in the building.

Displays in our main foyer include a CC! tree decorated with all of the pillar words and colors.  We also have a collection of green apples to represent Responsibility, a Trustworthiness display case which is decorated with blue stars, and a Citizenship display case which is decorated with purple flags.  All decorations were contributed by students who wrote about their definitions of each pillar.

During announcements every morning, we have discussions about the current character pillar and what it means to our students.  We also enjoy “Turn and Talk Tuesday” during morning announcements, when each student is invited to talk to a classmate for a few minutes about the current pillar.  

Brookhaven Elementary held two flag hanging ceremonies on September 29th to mark the addition of our beautiful Character Counts! flag on the front of our building as well as to remind students of our commitment to our Character Counts! Program.  At each ceremony, students wore green to represent September’s Responsibility pillar, a student representative from each class spoke about what the pillars mean to them, and the whole school joined together to sing along with the CC! song.

Student representatives participated in the Bellport Village CC! photo on October 18th by dressing in green to represent the responsibility Pillar.

We participated in national Character counts! Week from October 20th through 24th  by wearing pillar colors, collecting food for Long Island Cares, and hosting two assemblies with a guest speaker who focused on Character Education.

Staff representatives participated in the Homecoming Parade on October 25th by marching  with the CC! banner and wearing green to represent the Responsibility Pillar.


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Kreamer Street Elementary School

At Kreamer St. each month, students are learning one of the six words of character: Trustworthy, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.   Classroom discussions are bubbling with examples of how to develop good character.  At the end of each month, students are commended for showing one of the character traits.  They are then photographed as a group and placed on a display in the main hallway.

Students in Kindergarten classes are given a special character crown with the character word written on it to show everyone they are royal examples of good character.  In the upper grades, students are given a Character Counts bracelet to be worn throughout the day to let everyone know which character trait they have shown.

After the Character Pledge is read each morning on the announcements, character testimonies, written by the students of Kreamer Street, are also read to let us all know of small and wonderful acts of good character that are happening each and every day.  Students develop a sense of pride when they listen along with the entire school how they showed good character.   We are very proud to say that students at Kreamer Street continuously show us that Character Counts!  Thanks to Ms. Hughes for creating a special Character Counts box for each class!


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Verne W. Critz Elementary School

 The 3rd grade classes at VWC are working on learning about communities as a part of our Social Studies curriculum. To connect this topic to our Character Education Program, and their daily lives, we have come up with a service learning project to help foster a sense of community by helping others (citizenship).

The children have learned about the UNICEF program in class.  They have read, and discussed the need for programs

like UNICEF. It is our goal that they will become more aware of and sensitive to the needs of others.

The service part of this project is;

  • To use their UNICEF boxes to collect money on Halloween. (We have encouraged them to make a donation of their own as well.)  [citizenship, responsibility]

  • To return the box to school so we can count and combine all of the donations to be sent to the UNICEF program.  [trustworthiness, responsibility]

  • To reflect-through writing and conversation- on the importance of projects like this and how they can help our world. [caring, respect]

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South Haven School

At South Haven School Character Counts! is very visible in and outside the building. South Haven School has prominently displayed a Character Counts Banner in their Parents waiting area and has hung Character Counts! posters in all of their classrooms. They also have a visual of Character Counts “Clouds” at the building entrance and near the parent registration area.

In addition, the school, in conjunction with members of the Brookhaven community, embarked on a Thanksgiving Food Drive to feed Families in Temporary Housing within our district truly exemplifying the Pillars of caring and citizenship 


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Village of Bellport

The South Country School District has partnered with the village of Bellport to promote CHARACTER COUNTS!, a program designed to help Bellport community students by providing a framework for principled decision making.

Together, the District and the Village are working diligently to encourage good character in the community's youth.  CHARACTER COUNTS! items such as wristbands bookmarks, and pencils donated by the Village were distributed to the district students at the South Country Library.  The library has also created a bibliography of books which demonstrate the character traits of the Six Pillars advocated by the CHARACTER COUNTS!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Future community partnership efforts will include the Bellport Chamber of Commerce as part of a plan being developed to include business participation in the program.


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