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COOLIDGE — As the school year wrapped up, Imagine Coolidge Elementary School received national attention for its commitment to character development among students.

The elementary school was among 84 schools around the nation to be named a “2020 National School of Character” by national organization Character.org in May.

Character.org seeks to support educators in developing the school environment and culture needed to nurture a set of essential values and exemplary character among students.

In a press release, the organization indicated that schools are awarded the recognition as a National School of Character after going through a “rigorous” evaluation process to show that character initiatives have notable impacts on academics, student behavior and overall school culture.

“Each of these schools and school districts has put in place a comprehensive approach to help their students understand, care about, and consistently practice the core values that will enable them to flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens,” Dr. Arthur Schwartz, president of Character.org, said in a statement.

Imagine Coolidge’s character program is the result of a combined effort among the school’s staff, and encourages students to have agency in their own character development through participation in service learning projects and student council.

“I am so proud of the teachers, administration and staff for their purposeful and intentional commitment to preparing our students for lives of leadership, accomplishment and exemplary character,” said Principal Clara Thigpen.

Character.org also recognized Imagine Schools, which boast 55 school campuses in nine different states around the country, as a 2020 National District of Character. Over the years, the character school system has made its shared values, JIF — which stands for Justice, Integrity and Fun — a significant part of school climates at its various school sites.

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