Top Quality Stars
Character Education Program
Top Quality Stars is Ashburton's character education program. Top Quality Stars, or "TQ Stars," was created to not only address a more concrete character education program, but also as a way to tie character education into the MCPS Curriculum.
Each month, Ashburton focuses on one T. Q. character trait. The character trait is announced during our televised and PA announcements. Classroom teachers tie the trait in with daily instruction in many creative and interesting ways that compliment the MCPS curriculum.
Respect: Treating others the way you would want to be treated
Parent tips to foster respect
- Model respectful conversations with others by using “please” and “thank you”.
- Encourage your children to show respect for the environment by helping them to pick up litter in your neighborhood.
- Talk to your child about what the word respect means to you and why you think it is important to show respect to others.
- Model respect at home by showing that you are willing to listen to what others have to say.
- When watching a television program with your child, discuss which characters behaved in a respectful manner. Make sure your child is able to give you an example from the program so that you know he/she really understands what it means to behave respectfully.
- Talk with your child about how he/she can be respectful to people of cultures different from that of your family.
- When talking with your child about respect, keep in mind that respect is more than obedience to authority. True respect is a genuine concern for the rights of others. Even plants and animals need respect!
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Responsibility: Being dependable and making good choices
Parent tips to foster responsibility
- A good way to encourage responsibility is to have clear expectations for your child regarding homework and chores. Having clear expectations can make it easier for your child to realize the importance of being dependable and making good choices.
- Share stories and literature that teach responsibility. Fairy tales and fables provide great examples of accepting responsibility for one’s actions or words.
- If your child is having difficulty with his/her daily responsibilities, create a schedule together emphasizing the most important responsibilities for each day.
- Talk to your child about why you think it is important to accept responsibility for his or her own work. You may want to share with him or her a time when you learned a valuable lesson about accepting responsibility.
- Make a simple chart that shows everyone’s responsibilities at home. This would be a great way to show that everyone is expected to “pitch in.”
- Completing homework on time is the responsibility of every student. Consider helping your child organize his or her homework space. Stress the importance of the homework space being a well-lit area with limited distractions.
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Citizenship: Obeying the rules and working to make your community a better place
Parent tips to foster citizenship
- Talk to your child about what it means to you to be a good citizen. Have your child give you an example of what he or she thinks a good citizen is.
- Talk with your child about school rules. Have your child explain to you why he or she thinks each rule is important.
- As an example of helping the community, encourage your child to donate his or her unused or gently used toys. You may also want to consider donating food items or clothing to a local shelter.
- Discuss with your child the importance of citizens having the right to vote. Talk about how voting is a way to show community involvement.
- Visit your local library to find books about men and women of various cultures both past and present who have worked to improve the quality of life for others.
- Have a family meeting to discuss what the “house rules” should be. Be sure to emphasize that all opinions are valued.
- When you are out with your child, make a game of identifying various community helpers (for example, police officer, nurse, fire fighter). Ask your child to explain why these community helpers are needed.
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Compassion: Being kind and thoughtful towards others
Parent tips to foster compassion
- Talk to your child about what having compassion means to you. Have your child give you an example of how he or she has shown compassion to others.
- Encourage your family to volunteer at a local shelter to serve meals to the homeless.
- Adopt a family in your community by creating a care basket. Your basket could include baked goods, fruit, gifts, coupons, and/or a personal message from your family.
- Encourage your child to show compassion for an elderly or disabled neighbor by offering to shovel the snow from their walkways and driveways.
- Model compassion by offering to give a neighbor a ride to the mall or to the grocery store.
- Help your child to write holiday cards to his or her friends and family.
- Donate winter coats and gloves to local clothing drives.
- Go singing in the children’s ward at a local hospital.
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Integrity: Making choices that help you be the best person you can be
Parent tips to foster integrity
- Talk to your child about what having integrity means to you. Have your child give you an example of how he or she has shown integrity.
- Watch a movie with your child and point out characters who show integrity.
- Give your child examples of men and women who have shown integrity, for example, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, and Mother Teresa.
- Encourage your child to show integrity by emphasizing the importance of doing his or her own work both at home and at school
- Talk to your child about peer pressure and why it is important to maintain his or her integrity. Tell your child about a time when you felt pressured by your peers and how you handled the situation.
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Honesty: Being truthful and sincere
Parent tips to foster honesty
- Talk to your child about what being honest means to you. Have your child give you an example of how he or she has demonstrated honesty at home or at school.
- Read a story together that teaches honesty. Fables and fairy tales are excellent tools for a discussion about honesty.
- Encourage your child to admit when he or she has been dishonest at school or at home. Remember to reassure your child that everyone, even adults, make mistakes. Discuss possible consequences of being dishonest in a variety of situations.
- Visit your local library to find out which president was often referred to as “Honest Abe.” This is a great way to help your child learn about history and about honesty.
- Tell your child the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Ask your child to talk about whether the boy was an honest character or not.
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Perseverance: Working hard and not giving up
Parent tips to foster perserverance
- Talk to your child about what perseverance means to you. Have your child give you an example of how he or she has demonstrated perseverance at home or at school.
- March is Women’s History Month. Visit a museum to learn more about famous women in history who overcame prejudice and discrimination.
- Explain to your child the relationship between perseverance and schoolwork. Give an example of a time when you worked hard to complete a difficult school assignment.
- Read The Little Engine That Could with your child at bedtime. Talk about how believing in yourself helps you to achieve your dreams.
- Contact your local Special Olympics coordinator to find out how your family can help with this event. This is another great example of athletic perseverance.
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Self-Discipline: Thinking about your words and actions, and then making choices that are right for you and others
Parent tips to foster self-discipline
- Talk to your child about what self-discipline means to you. Have your child give you an example of how he or she has demonstrated self-discipline at home or at school.
- Encourage your child to become involved in activities that build self-discipline. These activities can include playing a sport, taking music lessons, keeping his/her room clean, or caring for a pet.
- Take a moment to visit the local library and read about famous men and women who have shown self-discipline to achieve a goal. Have your child give you examples of how he or she knows the person had self-discipline.
- Help your child set a goal for the week and work with him or her to achieve it. The goal could be such things as turning in completed homework each day, finishing household chores or walking the dog after school every day.
- Talk with your child about times when self-discipline may have been difficult for you and how you dealt with the situation.
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Fairness: Taking turns, sharing and listening to what others have to say
Parent tips to foster fairness
- Talk to your child about what fairness means to you. Have your child give you an example of how he or she has demonstrated fairness at home or at school.
- Choose a board game to play as a family. Read the rules together, emphasizing sharing and taking turns.
- Talk to your child about how to communicate in a fair way when he or she has a disagreement with a friend. Encourage him or her to listen respectfully to what the other person has to say by not interrupting and by using respectful language. Remind your child that this is a fair way for both people to say what is on their minds.
- Ask your child to explain the classroom rules about taking turns, sharing and listening to what others have to say. Ask your child to explain why these classroom rules are fair to the entire class.
- Arrange a play date. Encourage your child to remember that sharing and taking turns is important in a friendship
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Trustworthiness: Other people can count on you to do the right thing
Parent tips to foster trustworthiness
- Talk to your child about what trustworthiness means to you. Have your child give you an example of how he or she has demonstrated trustworthiness at home or at school.
- Ask your child to tell you about someone that he or she trusts. Have him or her tell you how the person shows that he or she is trustworthy.
- Remind your child of a time when you felt that he or she demonstrated trustworthiness. Explain how this memory makes you feel and why.
- Help your child remember to turn in his or her books to the media center at the end of the school year. This is a fantastic example of being a trustworthy student!
- Keep your commitments, be on time and do what you say you will do, especially when your child is involved. Modeling trustworthiness is one of the best ways for your child to learn this character trait.
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