I recently got an e mail from a friend who spoke of our claim of teaching character. She had a few questions and I felt, a few doubts. I explained our program via the following, as an e mail reply:
“We tell people that we, at Gymfinity, have a character education program. When some people hear the phrase “character education,” they usually think that we are stating something that is obvious, like: “At Gymfinity we provide air for our athletes to breathe.” or that we are claiming credit for something that we have no real ability to do. Either way, I have to respectfully disagree. Though I do believe that the responsibility for character education falls primarily on the parents, I do think that every one of us that interacts with a child has some responsibility too. I believe that it does take a village to raise a child. Many programs in our industry (children’s activity centers) think that as long as they teach their activity (gymnastics, cheer, swim, dance, etc.) that their responsibility to the children is complete. At Gymfinity, ours is just beginning.
Our staff is trained in Character Education and with high standards upon them they head to the gym to teach our kids. We infuse character education into our staff training, our staff evaluation and our daily lesson plans. Our bi-weekly staff newsletters are filled with stories of character, making good choices, responsibility, respect. Our monthly staff meetings have at least one discussion topic that utilizes our character responsibilities to our kids.
Do we believe that once children become adults that they are no longer capable of developing and enhancing their personal character? Of course not. Have any of us changed our behaviors from college to now? Yeah, me too. I believe that everyday is an opportunity to learn, to think, to decide and to act. These lessons often distinguish themselves as developmental for our character and our reputations. We “invest” in the teaching staff here at Gymfinity, because we know that they will most likely not be here for life, they most likely will not make Gymfinity their career. We have only a few years to make an impact. We have a small window to be sure, like with our class kids, that when they leave Gymfinity we have made a positive difference in their lives.
According to Michael Josephson (CharacterCounts!) Character development is a lifelong process, and all of us have the capacity to be better today than we were yesterday. I hold this to be true for our children, who learn from us by our word andour actions: and our peers who learn from us by our example. It truly takes a village to raise a child, but it takes the village to help us all reach new heights. At Gymfinity, we are a village ourselves and we are happy and proud to be a part of your village and your family.”