2021 Promising Practice Award

Hanover Park Regional High School District wins Promising Practice award

Promising Practice awards are issued by Character.org as part of the National Schools of Character program. The award recognizes educational practices that implemented unique, effective character education strategies. This year the Hanover Park Regional High
School District received a promising practice award for its Freshmen Seminar course, which integrates character education into the curriculum via the culminating service learning project the students plan and complete.

Here’s some input from teachers who teach the course…
“From the initial writing of the Freshmen Seminar curriculum it was always the goal to have a service learning project as the culmination of the course. Throughout the course students learn topics that will help them throughout their high school and life career and then focus their time energy talents and skills on accomplishing something ‘now’ in their lives. The idea is that they will realize they don’t need a college education, or have to wait until they are older to benefit others and society as a whole.” — Mr. Ott

“What is unique about Freshmen Seminar is that it allows students to explore their attributes and identify ways they can use their talents to make a positive contribution to society through their service learning projects. The service learning projects are initiated by our students and are a sign of the times… The impact is tremendous. It has improved school culture and builds empathy for others… Students who are more selfcentered are awakened to the needs of others in the community. The ‘We can make a difference’ attitude is instilled in our students which eventually will translate to better citizens as they enter adulthood.” — Ms. Granet

“The service learning project allows all students to focus on their strengths and help out the local community with what resources they have available to them. They learn how to communicate with people inside and outside of school and use their in-class learning and relate it to real life practices.” — Ms. Klinck

“The service learning projects are designed and executed entirely by the students. We don't tell them what their project needs to look like or what the topic should be, so this helps tremendously in getting their commitment to the process. It is based upon whatever they deem to be an important issue. Through the project, students learn from the very beginning of their high school careers that they can make a difference in the lives of others and help to educate others on important issues.” — Ms. Ritacco