What is the Golden Rule Character Awards Program?

The Golden Rule Character Awards Program is designed to have a positive influence on the character of children and youth by promoting the Golden rule Character Law, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Simply stated; "What you do to others will come back to you." This Golden Rule Character Law is as definite as the law of gravity. Example: If you step off the Empire State Building you will fall, not remain suspended in the air. Another law of nature states that if you plant a pumpkin you will not reap an apple. The Program is organized around the belief that if all people understand this vital Law of Life, they will make every effort to avoid hurting others, given the realization that in hurting others they would be bringing hurt upon themselves. By contrast, they would realize that by helping others they would be bringing good into their own lives. This simple rule, if understood and applied, could eliminate the need for most of the prisons in this country.


Where Has the Golden Rule Character Awards Program Been Implemented?

Since its beginning during the 1999-2000 school year in the Glynn County Schools and during the 2005-2006 school year in the McIntosh County Schools, this program has been an integral element within the Character Education Program in both systems. This program has played an important role in helping the local schools implement the state-mandated requirement (Section 20-2-145 of the Georgia State Code) that a character educated program encompassing the following 27 positive character traits be taught in all Georgia public schools: Respect for the creator, kindness, compassion, honesty, patriotism, citizenship, fairness, respect for others, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, tolerance, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty, perseverance, virtue, respect for the environment, and courage.

The above traits are embodied within The Golden Rule.


How Does The Golden Rule Character Awards Program Work?

During the six months of September through November and January through March, a Golden Rule Character Student of the Month is recognized in each of the Glynn County and McIntosh County Public Schools. All monthly winners receive a $50 gift certificate, a t-shirt, a bumper sticker, and a certificate of accomplishment. In addition, the winner’s name is inscribed on a permanent plaque displayed in the entrance hall of the school. A special Golden Rule Selection Committee at each school, composed of school staff, determines the monthly winners. Ballot boxes placed in the school media center or another prominent location are provided for nominations by students, teachers, and staff members, who are encouraged to nominate students whose behavior consistently demonstrates the values expressed by the Golden Rule Character Awards Program. Committees make their final selection by the 10th of the month and send the appropriate materials to the Superintendent of School’s offices to initiate the awards process.

At the close of the school year, monthly winners from each school in each County, together with their families and friends, are invited to a celebration ceremony. During the ceremony, each student is introduced and receives a certificate of accomplishment and a $100 savings bond. From nominations proposed by the school committees, a Foundation Selection Committee chooses one yearly winner from each of the three school divisions of elementary, middle, and high school. These young people are recognized as Golden Rule Character Students of the Year and receive an additional savings bond. Seniors selected in an interview process from each high school are recognized as Golden Rule Character Award winners and receive cash gifts.

To encourage schools to promote this program, the Foundation Selection Committee recognizes a school from each system for outstanding performance in encouraging students to live by the Golden Rule Character Awards program. The school selected from each system receives a $3000 cash grant.

The Paragon Award is given to an educator in Glynn and McIntosh County Schools who does an exemplary job of teaching, encouraging, nurturing, and living the Golden Rule Law of Life. The selected winner from each system receives a $1500 cash gift.

The Golden Rule Staff Award is given to a non-certified staff member from each system who does an exemplary job of living and demonstrating the Golden Rule Law of Life Character ideals in the school setting. The selected winner from each system receives a $1000 cash gift.

At the close of the annual ceremony, all students, families, and friends are invited to attend a reception in honor of all winners.