“Our mission is to promote community, friendship, acceptance, and tolerance within the student body at Berlin Middle-High School,” said the founder of the new Character Education program, high school English and Language Arts teacher, Mikaela Marbot.

The Character Education Program encourages students to practice and engage with Berlin Pride—being proud of who they are, where they come from, and the community that they strive to make better. Ms. Marbot stated that, “proud Mountaineers engage with three core questions: Are my actions the best that they can be? Am I being my best self for my school? Am I working to make my community a stronger place?”

The idea for the new school-wide program came to Ms. Marbot during class last year while teaching a small group of students. With support from principal and co-founder of the program, Dr. Allain, the program’s base was established. Ms. Marbot and Dr. Allain are both excited to see the impact the program’s values will have on students in 6th through 12th grade and on the community.

The goal for this year is to get students thinking more about character values and their community.

“Our aim is to develop a stronger sense of school spirit and community pride,” said Ms. Marbot. “We want to start conversations. We want students to realize that it is important to talk about character values and it is important to think about how we affect others based on our own individual actions.”

The long-term goals of the program are to establish moral guidelines and supports that help Berlin Middle-High School foster strong and empathetic individuals.

Marbot continued, “We want students to have open minds as they grow in our school community and, someday, as they contribute to bettering the community beyond school grounds.”

All Berlin Middle-High students will be informed of a monthly theme and, once a month, students will be welcomed into the auditorium for an assembly featuring a movie that shares strong, positive, and influential messages regarding the theme. Students are asked to watch the movie and think about the messages.

Ms. Marbot will introduce focus questions before the movie begins with the hope that they will spark thoughts in students’ minds that they can think about during the showing.

If students are affected by the movie, the focus questions, or by the theme itself, they are welcome to join Ms. Marbot and other interested staff and students in monthly discussions and/or activities related to the theme. These activities and discussions will mainly occur during Triple M on Fridays after the movies are shown and will be heard on the morning announcements. Students who choose to participate in additional activities and discussions will have opportunities to share their own opinions, experiences, and ideas related to the monthly theme.

“Having such open conversations, engaging with peers and staff alike, will hopefully result in a more open and engaged mindset regarding our school and community,” said Ms. Marbot.

As students returned this September and began to establish their school community for the upcoming year, the theme has been teamwork.

Teamwork was needed on Friday September 20th during Triple M when the new program kicked off. Students and teachers volunteered to partake in the “Marshmallow Challenge.” The challenge engaged the whole school as they cheered on the teams to success. To find out more about the “Marshmallow Challenge” and see the video that students watched an excerpt from, visit this link.

The Character Education Program has an Instagram page, too. Follow them @BerlinCharacterEducation or tag your photos with #BerlinCharacterPride to show support and keep up to date with their events. The page will be used to recognize accomplishments within the student body and community, to keep everyone posted about happenings within the program, and to share some photos that have been sent in. Photos will run on a slideshow in the cafeteria during lunches.

Ms. Marbot wants everyone to know that, “when you do something awesome, or when you see someone doing something awesome, the Character Ed Program wants to praise it!”

The featured September movie, shown on Monday the 23rd, is Remember the Titans, and focus questions of interest are:

  •  How can I support others to reach a common goal?
  • Why is it important to listen to the opinions and ideas of others?
  • What is the best way to work with someone I may not like in order to reach a common goal?

Please contact Ms. Marbot with any questions or concerns at mmarbot@berlincentral.org