Case Studies


Erlanger-Elsmere School Improves Test Scores

Miles Elementary Facts:

Students: 274
Free and Reduced Lunch: 60.6%
Caucasian: 77.7%
Hispanic: 8.8%
Multiracial: 9.5%

The Erlanger/Elsmere Board of Education is recognizing Beech Acres Parenting Center and Children, Inc. for the positive impact their new learning program, The Character Effect™, is having on the district’s John W. Miles Elementary School.

The Character Effect™ is a social and emotional learning program that works by nurturing children’s individual strengths. It brings together the research of positive psychology and the science of mindfulness in a meaningful, flexible curriculum. Its framework uses research-informed tools to help students, teachers and parents to collectively develop a common language and become a powerful force rallying the adults in a student’s life. The Character Effect™ is designed to improve student’s self-control, increase their classroom participation, cultivate an atmosphere of respect for others and boost their overall self-acceptance.

“With standardized testing, we’ve been trained to always look at the glass being half-empty, or deficit-based,” said Josh Jackson, principal of Miles school. “The Character Effect™ has instead taught us to intentionally look at and build on children’s strengths, and this has made a major difference with our students.”

Fifth-grade students at Miles performed measurably better on end-of-year testing. Student discipline improved as they incorporated their personal strengths into their behaviors in the classroom. Even first-grade students began applying the concepts of mindfulness and strengths-building in sophisticated ways in their curriculum.

After successful pilot programs in first and fifth-grade classes in the 2017-2018 school year, Miles Elementary expanded use of The Character Effect™ to all of the school’s 273 students in grades K-5 for 2018-2019.

“The Character Effect™ has helped us to finally connect social and emotional learning to academic learning,” Jackson added. “Now we’re bridging the gap and meeting the whole child’s needs, which makes them much more likely to succeed.”

Jackson explained that the program is improving students’ self-control, increasing classroom participation, cultivating an atmosphere of respect for others and boosting children’s overall self-acceptance.

“We are delighted to see the positive results at Miles Elementary in so many areas,” said Jim Mason, president and CEO of Beech Acres Parenting Center. “The school community has demonstrated what’s possible when adults intentionally identify and encourage the expression of children’s unique, innate strengths.”

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