Character Pillars

Character Counts

Responsibility, Respect, Citizenship

Kings River uses Character Counts!, a character education framework that is used nation-wide. Good character is necessary to successfully and honorably meet life’s challenges. The Character Counts! approach to character education doesn’t exclude anyone. That’s why the programs and materials are based on the six ethical values that everyone can agree on – values that are not political, religious, or culturally biased. Each month, Kings River staff and students focus on one of six pillars of character.

Caring, Fairness, Trustworthiness

What is Character Counts?

Founded by Michael Josephson, Character Counts is a nationwide character education program administered by Josephson Institute and the Center for Youth Ethics. Character Counts leaders, also known as coaches, instill the programs importance in everything they do. For learning in the classroom, the honor above all, addresses academic honesty. Students focus on trustworthiness and fairness as guiding pillars in their academic learning.

Kings River School actively supports Character Counts and the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. The six pillars are the foundation for showing good character from the time a student rides a school bus, to learning in a classroom, eating lunch, and interacting with others. The six pillars of character have become part of the language among students and staff, and students are encouraged and recognized for showing good character. Banners, murals and posters are displayed throughout the campus. The Character Counts framework is not only visible through displays, but more importantly, it is evident in how students and staff respectfully treat each other every day.

  • Character Counts is the nation’s most widely used character development framework.

  • It is used in schools, sports, and civic organizations.

  • It is based on shared beliefs and consensus values called the “Six Pillars of Character.”

  • It provides an easy to understand, readily acceptable common language for youngsters, parents and character educators.

  • Character Counts is a national grassroots initiative based on voluntary citizen action.

  • It’s the only character education program with a certified training course for educators, youth development professionals and community organizers.

  • A means to introduce religion into public education

  • An “add-on” program

  • Just a “feel-good” program

The Six Pillars of Character


  • Do what you’re supposed to do

  • Persevere: keep on trying!

  • Do your best

  • Use self control

  • Be self-disciplined

  • Think before you act – consider the consequences

  • Be accountable for your choices


  • Treat others with respect

  • Follow the Golden Rule

  • Be tolerant of differences

  • Use good manners, not bad language

  • Be considerate of others

  • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone

  • Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements


  • Do your part to improve your school and community

  • Protect the environment

  • Cooperate

  • Stay informed

  • Vote

  • Be a good neighbor

  • Obey laws and rules

  • Respect authority


  • Be kind

  • Be compassionate and show you care

  • Express gratitude

  • Forgive others

  • Help people in need


  • Play by the rules

  • Take turns and share

  • Be open-minded; listen to others

  • Don’t take advantage of others

  • Don’t blame others carelessly


  • Be honest

  • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal

  • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do

  • Have the courage to do the right thing

  • Build a good reputation

  • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends and community

The Character Counts Pledge

I pledge to be a kid of Character.
I will be worthy of trust.
I will be respectful and responsible, doing what I must.
I will act with fairness.
I will show that I care.
I will be a good citizen and always do my share.

Kids for Character

MLK Quote