Remember when you were a teen? You cared more about what your peers and media said than what your parents and teachers thought you should do.

C2 is designed for students in this critical developmental stage called adolescence. Psychology teaches that an essential facet of these years is differentiation: the need to distinguish our own beliefs, motives, and desires from what we were told by parents, teachers, their religion, and “old people” in general.

C2 provides stimulus for meaningful conversations about these subjects that determine one’s life trajectory. By casting the questions in the context of character strengths, students aren’t as threatened by the topics. Using hit movies to illustrate the strengths shows them the Cycle of Change evidenced in every dramatic presentation:

  1. The Problem of bad character
  2. The Process of developing good character
  3. The Payoff received from good character

Every C2 movie clip shows this Cycle of Change. Students don’t have to be convinced of their need to change or motivated to act.

’s movie clips are powerful tools and are carefully edited to remove all cursing and graphic violence without compromising its message. Movie clips have great advantages with teens as they:

  • Heighten interest
  • Sharpen focus
  • Capture the heart as well as engage the mind
  • Speak to students having a wide range of aptitude and cognitive ability

What creates even deeper student buy-in to character development is the Peer Chat. Students spend most class time following the educational agenda required to graduate.

What they prefer is to talk with peers about their own interests. Peer Chat uses that desire and provides discussion material they enjoy. As they dialogue one-on-one, introverts open up and engage in conversation while extroverts reflect on meaning and evaluate their decisions. Transformation and character development result.

C2 was also designed to provide the foundation for well-being and success in life they may or may not get at home. This foundation serves students academically, emotionally, socially, and relationally.

C2 was originally created for at-risk students who lack a good foundation. This population don’t respond well to character education curricula as it seems to remind them of their failure. We wrote the Briefings with them in mind, looking for ways to engage them. Our design:

  • Focuses on student strengths rather than problems and wrong behaviors;
  • Utilizes a brief, 3-minute presentation;
  • Has proven to provide empathy and positive reinforcement more than criticism through Peer Chat and post-lesson student interactions; and
  • Provides the option to “blog” or journal their answers to the discussion questions when they prefer privacy or are “having a bad day.”

In our pilot groups, students respond well to the material and bond as a group. One C2 peer reviewer told the story of a 17-year old male who was court-referred (required) to attend C2 and he wasn’t happy about it. He was expelled from school for violence and theft and could barely read. After 8 sessions, he was asked what he thought of C2. “It’s cool,” he shrugged.

Another facilitator reported that, after the 24th C2 group session, one girl asked, “Do we have to stop?” In her first semester after the group, her grades went from C’s with an F in Math to A’s and B’s with an A in Math. She also changed her entire group of friends to a healthier crowd.


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