At Owings Mills Elementary School, school social workers are teaching and discussing the importance of character education in a motivating and exciting activity. Dr. Sue Futeral, LCSW-C and social work intern Ms. Tiffany Shropshire (Morgan State University), are using contemporary heroic cartoon characters, such as Sonic the Hedge Hog, Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Super Mario Brothers to teach various character education lessons. Students have an opportunity to color and act out various school-related issues and discuss what appropriate choices might be made using the value lessons of each cartoon character. After students complete a picture, the group talks about each heroic attributes of the characters and how to relate the values and positive choices back to their everyday actions.
Baltimore County Public Schools is committed to the implementation of character education for all students. Research suggests that strong character-building programs can improve student behavior, reduce violence, reduce drug and substance abuse, improve student self-esteem, and improve academic performance.
School social workers provide many services for BCPS students and families. They act in partnership with county agencies to provide support to families in need, facilitate student support groups and contribute to the development of social skills curricula. Many social skills curriculums used with students are evidence-based programs that have proven results to increase social skills and help student adaptation to the school setting. This March, we salute their efforts during National Professional Social Work Month.
For more information on BCPS social workers and other student support services, go to http://www.bcps.org/offices/sss/sss.html.
Submitted by: Paula Davis, social worker at Ridge Ruxton