The New Providence School District has been recognized for its focus on character education, as one of four school districts in the nation named a 2017 National District of Character.

The award is presented by , formerly the Character Education Partnership. Its state affiliates select schools and districts that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development programs and a positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, school climate and their communities. Criteria for selection are based on’s “11 Principles of Effective Character Education,” which include creating a caring community; providing students with opportunities for moral action; and engaging families and community members as partners in character building.

The New Providence district has provided character education lessons as a part of every student’s education, beginning in 1990. As the program developed, and students were faced with greater societal challenges, the Union County district continuously strengthened its individual character education initiative to incorporate a district-wide approach.

“On behalf of the New Providence Board of Education, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize our students, staff, parents and administration for this national recognition,” said Dr. David Miceli, New Providence superintendent. “Their genuine commitment to the development and sustained implementation of our character education programs is recognized by this award. It is a privilege and honor to be one of four districts in the nation to be recognized as a District of Character.”

Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director, congratulated the school district.

“Few things are as important as developing student character,” Dr. Feinsod said. “Character education promotes a healthy school environment and helps ensure students’ growth and academic success.

“I commend the New Providence School District for instilling in its students the importance of civility, sensitivity to others, and acts of kindness.”

In addition to the four Districts of Character, the organization also named 83 Schools of Character for 2017, including 24 in New Jersey. Schools and districts will be honored in October, at the 24th National Forum, on Character Education, in Arlington, Va.

For the full list of 2017 honorees, visit the website.