Character Counts on Smith Street

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PROVIDENCE — Six wooden columns displaying core character traits are positioned in front of St. Patrick School on Smith Street following a school assembly on October 26 to celebrate National Character Counts Week.

The columns were created to inspire the Smith Hill Community to join in their efforts to change the atmosphere of today’s society. National Character Counts Week is in its 14th year — and St. Patrick School was a proud participant in this year’s celebration.

The week is designated to emphasize the importance of teaching, enforcing, advocating and modeling the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship. An estimated five million youth, along with their teachers and parents, gathered in 12,000 locations throughout the country to do their part to repair the gaping hole in the moral ozone.

St. Patrick School, the second school in Rhode Island to recognize and celebrate this important week, was honored with a Gubernatorial Proclamation signed by Governor Donald Carcieri and read by eighth grade students, Samantha Gill, Florence Badejo and Wileutee Brooks before the assembly.

Former students participated in the ceremony, including State Senator Mary Ellen Goodwin. She addressed the students on the importance of good character.

State Representative John McCauley sent a message to students that read, “Honesty, hard work, commitment to your beliefs, and helping others truly matter in our world.... If you act with honesty, if you remain true to your beliefs, and if you keep a generous heart — ready to help others — you will make a real difference in this world.”

A special prayer was lead by Fr. James Ruggieri, pastor of St. Patrick Church. At the conclusion of the assembly, they reached out to the community, hoping to expand the message of good character.