Oak Receives Character Education Promising Practices Award
By Lynn Burkhardt
Temple City, CA – Every February for the past four years, Oak Avenue Intermediate School’s library is converted into a Museum of Tolerance.
Oak’s Guidance Counselor, Lori Johnson, with the support of school administration and staff, has facilitated this event designed to educate students regarding the destructive influence of bullying. This year on behalf of Oak Avenue School, Ms. Johnson traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive a Promising Practices Award from the Character Education Partnership (CEP).
CEP selected Oak’s Museum of Tolerance because the project is a unique educational approach designed to promote positive core values which contribute to the creation of a caring community. Through the museum, students engage in a multifaceted approach to learning that champions the development of conflict resolution skills, embraces diversity, and models tolerance. The museum represents a collaborative effort of staff members, with the support of site administration, who realized the value and need for delivering the message that everyone deserves respect.
All 7th grade students tour the museum with their English classes. Students enter and exit the museum via a “Chalk Walk,” a cement walkway containing respect and tolerance messages and artwork created by 8th grade English students. The museum contains eleven sections with exhibits comprised of news articles, a news video, staff biographies describing their bullying experiences, tools/strategies for use in preventing and resolving conflicts, and student-produced slide shows, writings, art, and drama. The last station is in the computer lab where students complete a survey giving staff immediate feedback on the impact of the museum.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Character Education Partnership is a national advocate and leader for character education and school reform in the areas of academics, moral, social, emotional, and ethical issues.
For more information about Oak’s Museum of Tolerance, call 626-548-5060.