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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City Academic Center has been recognized for two of its character development initiatives.

Jefferson City Academic Center has been recognized for two of its character development initiatives: Reading Rockstars and Words on the Wall.

Character.org is a national organization that promotes character development in schools and communities. Every year, Character.org recognizes "Promising Practices," initiatives that show character development and align with at least one of the organization's 11 Principles Framework.

The Reading Rockstars initiative is a poster campaign that encourages preschool and elementary children to read.

Starting during the 2019-20 school year, JCAC students select a favorite book, a place to be photographed and props that reflect their personality and interests. The photos are used for posters the students deliver to elementary classrooms and Little Explorers Discovery Center to display as "visual reminders for younger students to become life-long readers," according to a news release from the Jefferson City School District.

Character.org recognized the Reading Rockstars initiative as a Promising Practice because it exemplifies the organization's seventh principle: "The school fosters students' self-motivation."

The Words on the Wall initiative is a motivation tool for students. Every month, JCAC students and staff come up with a theme for the bulletin board in the school cafeteria. The themes are designed to "inspire students to look toward their future." Past themes have been "what are your goals," "what inspires you," "what's your 'pot of gold'" (what are you thankful for) and "what's your word for the new year."

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In the news release, JCAC Principal Justin Browning said JCAC students and staff are proud to be nationally recognized for their initiatives and share them in the hopes they'll benefit other schools.

"JCAC would not have its longstanding history of character education excellence without our amazing teachers, staff, and most importantly, students who are invested in these initiatives," he said. "They set the bar high every year, and their efforts have led to more and more student success."

The Jefferson City School District's JCAC-Middle, Lewis & Clark Middle School and Southwest Early Childhood Center are also past recipients of Character.org's Promising Practices awards.

JCAC has been recognized for 14 of its Promising Practices since 2011.

"JCAC continues to be a shining example of character education not only for our Jefferson City community but also for our country," JC Schools Superintendent Larry Linthacum said in the news release. "Congratulations to JCAC on this tremendous honor and a history of character education excellence.

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