Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any of the questions below to find out the answer. If this section does not answer a question of yours, please send an email to us through the Contact Us page.

Who can volunteer for Character Education?

Parents and grandparents are usually our volunteers.  All volunteers MUST fill out an application form, have TB clearance, be approved and on the volunteer list to be able to volunteer.

What do volunteers do?

Prior to heading into the classroom, volunteers choose a grade appropriate lesson from our website.  They then speak with their teacher and set up a day and time to facilitate their lesson.

They read over and become familiar with the lesson.  They gather and prepare any needed materials (usually provided by Character Ed), if needed, volunteers make copies and check out books from the EBS Character Ed library as necessary.

The day the lesson is presented, volunteers sign in at the office front desk upon arrival at the school.  They present their lesson at the day and time agreed upon by the teacher and volunteer.

Lessons can include reading a story, leading a discussion, playing an education game or activity, doing a simple art project or science experiment.

The teacher is always present in the room and is there to help manage the class and the lesson, if needed.

Do I need to fill out a volunteer application to be a Character Ed Volunteer?

YES, go to the Volunteer Application page to download one and turn it in to Ms. Dee in the nurse’s office. Familiarize yourself with the volunteer protocols on that page.

What is the volunteer time commitment?

The volunteers prepare and facilitate one lesson per month. Preparation is usually about 30 minutes and the in- class lessons at school last approximately, 20-60 minutes, depending on grade level and lesson. Many classrooms have two character education volunteers, so volunteers can alternate months.

The preparation is done at home. This includes logging on to the character ed website, reading through the lessons and choosing a lesson, preparing any required materials, making copies, checking out a book, retrieving materials for the activity (if needed).

The lesson times are coordinated with the teachers at a time suitable to the teacher and the volunteers.

When do I volunteer?

Volunteers coordinate the lesson times with the teachers at a time suitable to the teacher and the volunteers.

It is often a good idea to set up a consistent day and time each month.  (For example the second Tuesday of each month at 2:30pm).  It is a good idea to confirm the lesson with the teacher a day or two ahead of time.

Can there be more than one volunteer per class?

Yes!  It is great when there are 2 or more volunteers per class.  They can facilitate the lessons together or alternate months.

How do I set up a lesson time?

To set up a lesson time, contact the teacher, usually via email.  It is often a good idea to set up a consistent day and time each month.  (For example the second Tuesday of each month at 2:30pm).  It is a good idea to confirm the lesson with the teacher a day or two ahead of time.

Where do I find the lessons?

All of our lessons are on this website, organized by month | trait and also by grade.  Please go to the main menu above and click on the Lesson Plans button. There you will see the traits for each month. Click on the appropriate month and you will find all of the lessons.

If you are so inspired, you may make up your own lesson or combine elements from various lessons.  Two main requirements for making up your own lessons:  Please make sure your lessons are age appropriate and do not teach religious beliefs.

Are teachers and administration supportive of the Character Ed program?

Yes!  Teachers and administration are very supportive of the program.  The lower grade teachers teach additional lessons on the traits each month and the upper grade teachers reinforce the character traits throughout the school year.

Where do I find the extra materials like the Responsibility Jar, Stone Soup bowl, Legos, etc. for activities that are referenced in the lessons?

Extra materials are in the Parent Room Parent Room, 353.  The materials are located in the cabinets below and to the right of the sink, in the long drawers, and behind the right sliding white boards.

The Parent Room is Room 353.  It is upstairs, next to the Fine Artist room, above the first grade classrooms.

If you use the last of the materials, please email the Character Education Volunteer Leader.

If you use the last of the materials, please email the Character Education Volunteer Coordinator, Christina Bennett at bcjj@sbcglobal.net to let her know what needs to be replaced.

Where is the parent room?

The Parent Room is Room 353.  It is upstairs, next to the Fine Artist room, above the first grade classrooms.

Where are the books for the lessons?

Each month the books corresponding to that month’s character traits will be in a basket in the EBS School Library.

The basket is located on top of the shelf closest to the teacher workroom/copy room.

The librarian or front office staff can help you locate the basket.

Where is the library?

The EBS School Library is on the ground floor in the same building as the office.  From the front office, go through the room with the copiers and the teacher mailboxes and enter the library through the door at the other end.  The library can also be accessed from the outside doors, facing the courtyard.

How do I check out the books?

You can check out books with the librarian, like at a normal library.  If the librarian is not there or is otherwise occupied, there is a check-out sheet next to the book basket for you to use.  Write your name and the book(s) you are checking out.  Be sure to return them within 24 hours.  Many others want to use the same books.

How do I return the books?

If you checked the book out with the librarian, return the books directly to the librarian.  If the librarian is not there or is otherwise occupied, put the books on the return counter with a sticky note saying “Returning books- Character Ed” and your name.
If you used the book check-out sheet next to the book basket, write in the date you returned the book and put the book back with the others in the book basket.

Why are there extra books?

Some lessons have specific books to go along with them.  Usually we have 2-3 copies of these books.  There are also other books that relate to the trait, but do not have a specific lesson to go with them.  Volunteers may use these books in their own lessons or as supplements to existing lessons.  They are resources.  Sometimes the teachers check these books out, too.

How long can I keep the books?

Many people want to use the same books, so please try to keep the book for only 24 hours.  You may want to preview the book overnight, return it, and then check it out again for your lesson.

What if I need a book from a different character trait?

If you need a book from a different character trait than the current month, you may find the whole collection of books in the Parent Room, 353, upstairs, next to the Fine Artist room, above the first grade classrooms.  The books are located in the cabinets below and to the right of the sink.  If you take a book from here please leave a note with your name, the book title, and a way to contact you, either email or phone number.  Please make sure to return the book.

Can I create my own lesson?

Yes!  If you feel comfortable developing your own lesson or combining elements from various lessons, that is great.  Please make sure your lessons are age appropriate and do not teach religious beliefs.

Can I read a book from my own personal library?

Yes!  If you have a book that illustrates the character trait, that is great.  Please make sure the books are age appropriate and do not teach religious beliefs.

What if I need to make copies for the lessons?

If you need to make copies for a lesson, the front office staff should be able to assist you.  Please do not wait for the last minute as sometimes they are unable to step away from the desk right away.  Ms. Dee in the nurse’s office can often help, too.  Please remember to be polite and grateful to the staff.

What do I do when I have finished my lesson?

When you have finished teaching your lesson, promptly return all borrowed books and materials.

Also, after the lesson, log your name and the name of the lesson on the log sheet, either in the parent room or in the library by the book basket.  This tells the Character Education team leaders that the lessons for each class are being taught.

What do I do if I can’t do my lesson when I had planned?

If you can’t do your lesson at the time you had planned, contact the teacher as soon as possible by email or phone to let the teacher know.  Try to reschedule as soon as possible.  If there is another character education volunteer for the class, you can ask that person to teach your lesson instead.

If I missed a lesson for one month, can I do two lessons in one month?

It is very important to do only ONE lesson per month.  Make every effort to schedule the lessons early in the month.  That way, if you have to reschedule you still have time.

If you miss a lesson for the month, just skip it and continue with the current month.

What about separation of religious beliefs and public school education?

The EBS Character Education program focuses on the character traits.  It is not appropriate for volunteers to teach religious beliefs in our school setting.  If students bring up their religious beliefs in the course of the lesson volunteers should redirect the discussion towards the character traits.  Ask the teacher for help, if needed.

What do I do if there is a mistake in the lesson plan or the lesson went badly?

If there is a mistake in the lesson or the lesson went badly please contact the Character Education VolunteerCoordinator, Christina Bennett at bcjj@sbcglobal.net who will help fix the mistake in the lesson on the website and help give tips for better outcomes for future lessons.  Also, the teachers should help with classroom behavior if there are issues.

What is the 5th grade Character Education Program?

At the end of the 4th grade school year, students apply to be in the 5th grade Character Education Program.  There are usually about 40 participants.  These students are role models in the school and need teacher approval to participate in the program.  The 5th grade Character Education Program Parent Leader teaches a lesson each month during a lunch time meeting to these 5th graders.  After the meeting, at a date set up with the teacher, these students work as a team to teach the lessons to a kindergarten or first grade class.  5th graders learn presentation skills and the younger students see role models and get the character trait for each month reinforced through these lessons.  The lessons taught by the 5th graders are different from the lessons taught by the parent volunteers, but cover the same traits each month.

What special projects is Character Education involved with?

The Character Education Program has a Food Drive at the beginning of November. Volunteers are needed to help publicize the drive, assist with retrieving the food items from each classroom, and possibly help with transporting the food to a local food pantry.

The Character Education Program also has other drives during the year.  These vary, but may include books drives, coin drives, clothing drives, etc.  Volunteers are needed to help publicize the drives and sometimes needed to help collect, sort, count, and deliver items.

The Character Education Program also coordinates appropriate assemblies which are paid for by the EBS AFP (Academic Fundraising Partnership).

Are there additional ways to be involved in CE?

The Character Education Program has a Food Drive at the beginning of November.  Volunteers are needed to help publicize the drive, assist with retrieving the food items from each classroom, and possibly help with transporting the food to a local food pantry.

The Character Education Program also has other drives during the year.  These vary, but may include books drives, coin drives, clothing drives, etc.  Volunteers are needed to help publicize the drives and sometimes needed to help collect, sort, count, and deliver items.

If you are interested in being a part of the leadership team, please contact the Character Education Volunteer Coordinator, Christina Bennett at bcjj@sbcglobal.net Leadership roles include:  volunteer coordinator, book manager, sign changer, 5th grader leader, food drive coordinator, charity liaison, and assembly coordinator.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Christina Bennett at bcjj@sbcglobal.net for any additional questions you may have.