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The I CAN Program Foundational Values

We will never teach the ABC’s of Education until we teach the ABC’s of Life…Attitude, Behavior and Character.

I CAN stairway

The I CAN Philosophy believes that all kids are trying to get to the doorway of tomorrow which will give them health, happiness, prosperity, friends, peace and security. But they first must understand that the elevator to the top is out of order. It was out of order yesterday, is today, and will be out of order tomorrow. If they want to get the good things out of life, they first of all need to build their lives on a solid foundation (the first module in the program) of honesty, character, loyalty, trust, integrity, and love. They then need to take the remaining steps of attitude, self image, relationships, goals, desire and work (the remaining modules) in order to achieve success.

Selected Points of Emphasis:

Honesty is the character quality that forms the foundational bedrock of every human being. Our greatest distortions of truth involve our impulsive reactions to the behavior of other people. Another facet of honesty involves what we have done in the past, what we are doing in the present, and what we will do in the future. Human deception is not new. People have been telling lies about themselves and others for as long as history has recorded human behavior. Children need to understand the full effect the issue of honesty will have upon their entire lives.

Accepting Responsibility
We have become a nation populated by large numbers of people who do not want to accept responsibility for their own actions. One of the main concerns of teachers and administrators is that they will be sued by the parents of the children they are trying to teach. When people can accept their roles in failure or disappointment or for problem behaviors (excessive alcohol use, taking drugs, dishonesty, etc.), they have the ability to overcome those problems and improve their future.

Respect for Others
The principle of respect is foundational to the American experience because we are a nation of laws. A lack of respect for the law begins with a lack of respect for other concepts and principles. There are three major categories of respect that must be understood. The three categories are: Respect for Authority, Respect for Property, and Respect for Self and Others.

Teaching Character
What are the desired results of character education? Whose values should be taught and how should principles of character be presented? The goal of character education should be to prepare students to be more successful in life! Successful people have to know how to read and write and they also need to understand how honesty, accepting responsibility, and showing respect for others will impact their future.

The Cultural Transformation
-- Before and After
When students learn and apply the principles of character taught in the I CAN program, their academic and personal lives are tremendously enhanced. Students enrolled in the I CAN program learn how to identify and obtain what they want in life through a plan of action. Time and time again, test and survey results show that students who adopt the traits of honesty, respect, and responsibility excel.

It is important that we teach children these principles today because these are the principles that will run our businesses and our country tomorrow. The Secretary of Labor and members of the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) reported that more than half of our nation’s young people leave school without the knowledge or foundation required to find and hold a good job. This is sobering news for teachers, students, parents and employers. The work force of the 21st Century, the SCANS Report further indicated, will not only need to be creative and responsible problem-solvers, but workers must possess the skills and attitudes on which employers can build. The I CAN program is committed to developing the positive attitudes that will help young people be successful in their personal and academic endeavors now and professionally in the future. I CAN achieves this by not only motivating the students, but by focusing on the attitudes of those who most influence today’s young people —parents and teachers. It’s a comprehensive strategy that serves to cement the bond between teachers, students and parents.

Involving Corporations
-- Corporate America and Education Unite
The corporate world has experienced the result of what is left untaught and is seeking to make a positive difference. Corporations and community minded individuals sponsor in-service training for teachers and fund curriculum that teaches the principles they want their future employees/fellow citizens to have.

Community Outreach Opportunities
Creating opportunities to involve organizations in promoting and reinforcing the I Can program is a valuable way to reward students for positive behavior and accelerate change. Bringing in organizations that help people in the community demonstrates to students that making a difference in the lives of others is a reward in and of itself. They gain awareness that they can make a difference in other people lives just by caring. There can be volunteer opportunities for students or projects for fund raising or presenting I CAN lessons and experiences in community venues are ways teachers and students can reach out to the community and gain visibility for the program.