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Long Island elementary school wins character award

BALDWIN, Long Island — For months and months, the teachers at Plaza Elementary School have been working with the 450 students, kindergarten through fifth grade, building character, encouraging students to be activists, respectful and empathetic.

“We want our kids to treat each other with respect,” Mark Gray, the Plaza Elementary School principal, told PIX11.

Each year, the school of character program selects schools throughout the country that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development, which has a positive impact on academic achievement and student behavior. Plaza Elementary entered a video to show what their school as all about.

“We were all kind and respectful,” 9-year-old Gabriel said. “It encourages everyone to be.”

“We are all activists, respectful and empathetic,” 10-year-old Olivia said.

Character.org picked 65 schools in 17 states across the country. Four of the schools were in New York.

“We really believe character guides everything,” Baldwin Schools superintendent Dr. Shari Camhi told PIX11. “When you have children with good character, everything is possible.”

From here, Plaza Elementary moves on to consideration on the national level. Students at Plaza will continue to be activists who are respectful and empathetic.