Apply for a Character Lives Classroom Grant


Character Lives develops character and instills servant leadership values in our youth.

Character Lives provides teachers a curriculum to reach students on a social-emotional level. The curriculum is based on the CharacterStrong model developed by educator John Norlin.

Time-tested and proven effective, the model is now being used around the United States. It is transforming schools into places that truly care about the well-being of others and instilling values that are transforming communities.

Kids want to be good. Early childhood research has shown that toddlers innately want to help and share with others. Over time, however, they don’t always know how to practice good in their lives. They aren’t given the tools or the accountability or the opportunity to be compassionate, selfless people.

Character Lives allows educators to get back to the core of teaching—teaching young people and not just young test takers. It fosters meaningful relationships and deeper connections throughout the community. Through teaching the skills of empathy and kindness, the curriculum equips young people with social skills and empathy, helping them realize that life is not about them: that true joy and meaning comes from serving others.

Participating School Districts


Immersion Level

Black River Falls
La Crosse



Advisory Level


Exploratory Level


What educators say about Character Lives

What Educators Say About Character Lives

Character Lives will make my teaching days stronger and personal life more enriched.
Shelby B.
We need grassroots character training for students and adults. The more opportunities we have to get students and staff collectively working toward the same purpose, the greater the hope we have. We need hope. I’m going to continue to push us to be a school, community, home, workplace of character.
Lindsay O.
Knowing academics only amounts to about 30-50% of what students need, I want to use [Character Lives] to facilitate and develop the other 50-70% of what they need. This has refreshed and rejuvenated my purpose and value for my 'why' I teach.
Mary B.
I came to [Character Lives] excited and with an open mind, ready to learn how to bring best practices to my building. I was not prepared for what I would learn about myself and how I can be a better person, educator and inspire others to be better. This is invaluable to prevent teacher burnout and increase positive culture in our buildings and community.
Chrissy D.
This will take work and effort, but I know the outcomes will impact others for a lifetime.
Brian W.