From the Executive Director
The summer is often a time of relaxation and reflection. The PCC Board is going to use this time for both. We are planning a retreat to discuss our goals for the next few years and would appreciate any ideas you might have about a need in the community or a direction you feel that PCC should follow. Also, mark your calendars for the second Breakfast to Celebrate Character, June 20 8:00-9:30 at the Worthington Educational Center. The topic will be “Leadership Diversity at the Core, Learning to Thrive in Tough Times” and will be presented by Dr. Ted Sun. If you are interested in attending you can register on the PCC website.
Have a wonderful summer!
Executive Director Worthington Partners for Citizenship and Character email@example.com (614)885-6646 www.citizenshipandcharacter.com
In Program News:
The Circle of Grandparents!
You’d think that the senior citizen portion of PCC wouldn’t have much activity, but you would be wrong! These seniors don’t let any moss grow under their feet and they just keep on rockin’ and rollin’ to the beat of life!
First of all, we would like to thank Holly for devoting so much time and energy on our behalf for our 10th year anniversary. Not only was she on our planning committee, but she was on her feet from 9 to 9 on the day of our event in the sweltering hot kitchen, making sure that everything was perfect so the rest of us could sit back, relax, and enjoy the evening. Holly and her PCC helpers made the meal and the service first rate. Many of the attendees commented on how much they appreciated being served. Charter member Liz Hague put it best at our wrap-up luncheon when she said “I absolutely loved being served dinner - by a man - in a suit!” Her statement was met with laughter, applause and agreement. Thank you to Holly and all of her helpers for a job well done! (Holly’s note: Those wonderful volunteers were Mitch Garner (the man in the suit), Lindsey Garner, Kathy Moore, Pat Kelso, Amelia Shearer, Amanda Stephen, Mackenzie Richard, Hayley Marfurt, and Patti Borg, who stayed until the bitter end.)
Our 10th year anniversary “A Journey of Character” was packed with many cherished memories . . . the yummy meal served by Worthington’s finest waiters, the songs of character sung by the 80 member chorus from Liberty elementary, Justice Yvette McGee Brown’s inspirational message, the four young sixth graders who were honored as our 2010-2011 Persons of exCeptional Character, and the songs written and performed by Eric Gnezda. Thanks to Jim Mitchell’s talent we have great pictures of our evening. One of my favorites is below. (Other pictures can be viewed at www.circleofgrandparents/shutterfly.com.).
A few weeks after our Journey of Character, we witnessed history at the Riffe Center on May 26th when the Charter Members of the Circle of Grandparents were inducted into the State of Ohio’s Senior Citizen Hall of Fame! Our group received the loudest and most raucous applause of all when Elizabeth Hague, Kathy Shaffer, Diane DeMuth, Claudia Timko (representing her departed husband Jim), Annette Petrozzi (representing her departed husband Anthony), Braxton and Polly Tewart were called to the stage! They represented Worthington, PCC, and the Circle of Grandparents with style and dignity. We couldn’t be more proud of them. The video of them can be found at http://www.aging.ohio.gov/news/halloffame/ just click on the Awards Ceremony (they are at the 102 minute mark). They are also in the Inspirational Thoughts video at the above link.
Left to Right: Claudia Timko, Suzanne Burke (CEO, Council on Aging), Annette Petrozzi, Diane DeMuth, Kathy Shaffer, Elizabeth Hague, Bonnie Kantor-Burman (Director, Ohio Dept. of Aging), Polly Tewart, Braxton Tewart at the Vern Riffe Center on May 26th for the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.
A few short weeks later, Elizabeth Hague and Kathy Shaffer found themselves in front of the cameras again as they were asked to tape a show for the State of Ohio’s “Finer With Age”! They traveled to the State House for their taping of the half hour show which is produced by the Department of Aging and reported that they had a lot of fun. (This must be true, since they were moved from the green room to a more remote area so that their laughter couldn’t be heard as a Doctor was being taped about cholesterol!) The show will be aired in August. As soon as we have an exact date and time, we will let you know.
While the Grandparents take a much needed rest over the summer, the Coordinator is in her peak season of recruiting, training new volunteers, and getting commitments from last year’s Grandparents for the coming school year.
This is the perfect time to join because you can start when school begins this fall and be with your class for the whole school year. Please send fun-loving, compassionate volunteers to our website www.circleofgrandparents.com to check us out. While there they can sign up for what’s sure to be another exciting year of character education through the ages! Debra Stephen
Active Parenting is actively (no pun intended) looking for host sites for our 2011/2012 classes. In the past we have been hosted by Worthington Christian Church, Worthington United Methodist Church, and St. Andrews Church. A host site provides a room for the class, childcare, and a meal for both children and participants. The churches who have hosted us in the past have done so as part of their community outreach. If you know of a site that might be interested, please contact Amy Ambrozich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualities of the Month
June- Moral Courage
Trustworthiness is the character trait for May. In looking at what many people think about this characteristic there seems to be a lot of information on both what you can do to be trustworthy and what you can do to help other people become trustworthy. In a nutshell it appears that the most important thing you can do to help others become trustworthy is… to trust them. “Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him." -Booker T. Washington. While a pretty simple concept, it isn’t always easy to do.
On the other hand the idea of what we can do to be trustworthy is a little more complicated. Being trustworthy involves not only honesty, but competence; not only good character, but behavior that matches that character. Two phrases that come to mind in that regard are “Saying what you mean and meaning what you say” and “Walking the talk.”
Most of the other character traits that PCC embraces are also part of trustworthiness: honesty, responsibility, diligence….…I could go on and on. So, with that in mind, why is it beneficial- both to ourselves and others- to be trustworthy? I would love to tell you that I had the idea or thought that explains this, but I have to defer to a wonderful article written by Carl Osborne, who is a Veterinarian and wrote insightfully on ethics. This is what he had to say:
“When the level of trust is low, however, others may not believe even our most eloquent words. To foster trust, trustworthy people strive to share ideas and rationale for their positions and desires, while maintaining genuine respect for others' ideas and perspectives. Why? Because they have learned that when trust is low, communication is exhausting, time-consuming and often ineffective. “
So, being trustworthy is valuable, not only to ourselves and our character, but in how we communicate with others, whether in our family, our friends or our careers. Think about it. Are you showing the people that are part of your life that you are as trustworthy as you would like to be?
I watched “The Return of the King”, the third movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy last night. I love this movie, but in particular I love a line spoken by Gimli, the dwarf. Right before the last battle he says, “Certainty of death, small chance of success…..What are we waiting for?” While this may sound reckless, in this instance they were devising a plan to create a diversion so that the hero could accomplish his mission to save their world. Even if you aren’t a Lord of the Rings fan you can see that this is an example of courage. Courage is an admirable thing, but the quality of the month for June is a special kind of courage, moral courage.
What makes physical courage and moral courage different? In the Active Parenting classes the quality of courage is one that parents are encouraged to help their children to develop and is defined as “taking a known risk for a known purpose. Actually, this is also a good definition of moral courage. In this case the “known purpose” is a value or moral choice, but that isn’t enough. Many of us have very strong beliefs and values, but the second component of moral courage is action (taking the risk). What does that mean? There is an interesting show on ABC, “What Would You Do?” that illustrates this perfectly. They use actors to play out a situation and see if any passersby intervene. The situations range from watching an obviously drunk parent get into her car with her children, seeing a boyfriend be verbally and be very close to being physically abusive to a girlfriend, hearing a parent berate a child in a public place because they got an A-…. well you get the idea.
Moral courage is illustrated by those people who are willing to take a risk and get involved, even when it doesn’t directly affect them. It does, however, involve a belief- those children are in danger, the girlfriend is being abused, the child’s self-esteem is being seriously damaged. I watch this show and hope that if the opportunity presented itself, that person would be me.
Rielle Miller from the Ethics Resource Center wrote about moral courage in 2004 and she has this to say, “Education is central to Aristotle’s view of moral development. Children must be taught the virtues. Children when they are young, however, cannot fully understand the virtues. What they need is a role model, someone who can demonstrate the virtues.” There is so much in the media lately about bullying that it strikes me that this is the perfect place to teach moral courage to our children. There really are 3 components to bullying: the bully, the victim and the audience. The bully has very little power if it isn’t witnessed. We can teach our children not to be the passive audience to this behavior. We can teach them to stand up for the victim or even just say, “So what?,” or “I think you are wrong,” or just “You are being really mean.” We can teach them moral courage. If we do, it will make a difference.