A new character-education program designed to teach students about integrity, respect and honesty will begin at Cambria Heights School District starting on the first day of school.

“Project Wisdom” unanimously was adopted by school board members in June.

The program sets a positive tone with its message each day for everyone in grades K-12.

According to Superintendent Joseph Macharola, who ran the same program at Altoona Area School District’s alternative school, Project Wisdom is rich in history, culture and literature – and inspires, teaches and encourages students to reflect upon larger issues in life.

“Kids come to school with plenty of luggage in this day and age,” Macharola said. “This might be that one moment or strategy that can help turn their day around.”

Quotes from world leaders and philosophers such as John F. Kennedy or Confuscius will start each child’s day, and the pupil will be asked what the quote of the day means to them.

Every day, students will hear a 60-second message containing a quotation from a historic figure, celebrity, modern hero or other notable voice that reinforces the topic of the day.

It is narrated by principals and students, and can also be used by teachers as part of their lesson plan.

“The daily message will be a very bright moment with every child,” Macharola said. “It’s a meaningful program that will help make our day a better day, and brighten the school environment.

“I’m all for creating a positive learning environment at Cambria Heights.”

According to its Web site, Project Wisdom was founded in 1992 in Houston by a mother who wanted to bring character education into her son’s middle school.

Now, the program reaches more than 4 million students each school day in all 50 states.

Macharola said he has seen the effect of the program on students at Altoona, and he is certain he will see the same benefits at Cambria Heights, where he has been superintendent since March.

“We found this program to be a very effective one to help enrich the lives of students,” Macharola said. “I found it to be an invigorating part of their day, and with the issues facing us in society, we need this.

“It’s not going to solve all of our problems, but I see it as a program that will brighten the day here,” Macharola said.

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