EUGENE, Mo. - Asking someone in the hallway "how was your day?" or helping up a friend who fell at recess - these are character traits students at Cole County R-5 Elementary see in each other.
For several years, the school has emphasized the Cole County CharacterPlus traits in various ways.
Students of the Month are selected for each class based on how they exemplify that month's trait.
In counselor Emma Dixon's classroom, her walls reinforce the ideas.
"I'm glad we have these reminders," said fifth grader Kaydi Alderman.
Without these traits, the school might not be so nice, said third grader Ashlynn Kliethermes.
Although characteristics like "self-discipline" and "forgiving" might be more of a challenge, Alderman and Kliethermes agreed their school is great at "hardworking" and "respectful."
"I think they remember what they should be doing, for the most part," Dixon said.
She spends 30 minutes each week with each class. Often those guidance lessons focus on the month's trait.
"It's good for kids to hear about these over and over," she said.
Classroom teachers keep an eye out for displays of good character to praise.
The library has a designated corner for books that go along with the month's character trait.
And Principal Dan Smith shares inspirational stories and quotes during the daily announcements that often provide good character models.
During the month of December, the school emphasized "kindness" with a food drive for the Eldon Food Pantry.
Even teachers benefit from the reminders of what might be common sense behavior.
"We're all trying to work on being a better person," Dixon said.
Other Cole County schools participating in CharacterPlus include Belair Elementary, Blair Oaks Elementary, Blair Oaks High School, Blair Oaks Middle School, Callaway Hills Elementary, Calvary Lutheran High School, Cedar Hill Elementary, Cole County R-1 - Russellville, Cole County R-5 - Eugene, East Elementary, Helias Catholic High School, Immaculate Conception, Immanuel Lutheran - Honey Creek, Jefferson City Academic Center, Jefferson City High School, Lawson Elementary, Lewis and Clark Middle School, Moreau Heights Elementary, Nichols Career Center, Simonsen 9th Grade Center, South Elementary, St. Joseph, St. Martins, St. Peters, St. Stanislaus, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Thorpe Gordon Elementary, Trinity Lutheran and West Elementary.
The end-game for this investment in character education is better relationships, Dixon said.
"If they share it with friends, it can spread to others in the community," she said.