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To Whom It May Concern:

                 I am writing in support of the Virtues Project.  I feel those exposed to it can potentially have an inspiring, life-changing experience.

                Valley New School is an innovative, project-based, student-driven charter school in the Appleton Area School District.  Students, grades 7-10, attend the school.  I am an advisor and administrator at VNS.  Our mission is “to create a learning community that empowers individuals to become purposeful adults.”   Staff and students alike are proactive about building a positive culture that promotes individuality, personal freedom, and self actualization so that students feel confident and equipped to pursue their passions and life goals.  Such a culture requires that all members are accepting of each other so that community members feel safe to take risks.

                 When I was introduced to the Virtues Project at the Youth Worker Coalition conference in the spring of 2007, I was inspired to attempt to expose my entire school community to the positive outcomes the project can create.

                Terry Rahn and Valerie Hess, Master Facilitators of the Virtues Project, administered a day-long workshop at Valley New School to staff, students, and parents on November 2, 2007.  A member of the administration for the Appleton Area School Districtas well as an Appleton Area School District School Board Member attended as well. 

                The response from the VNS community and the positive outcomes from this day were overwhelming.  Students reacted with comments like, “I feel the [Virtues] project could help people discover about themselves what they want to improve, and shows people parts of themselves they never thought about before,” and “The way we act affects others just as much as ourselves,” and “I learned Change can be simple.”  The VNS community as a whole was inspired to integrate Virtues philosophies into our culture.  One student states, “I feel hopeful that the Virtues Project will have a positive impact on our school culture.  We have interacted with everyone in a way that changes our perspective about each other.”  I have personally observed several instances where students or staff have utilized Virtues acknowledgements to empower a fellow VNS community member.  Also, the district administrator was inspired to share the opportunity with other principals in the district. 

                 I have seen the power of the Virtues project and its ability to spread.  I strongly believe that the implementation of the Project into any setting will have strong positive impact on the culture and individuals involved. 

Nicole Luedtke, Valley New School, Appleton, WI

 

I attended Terry and Val's Virtue's Workshop two years ago and nearly
every conversation, and experience is still quite vivid.  Both Terry and Val modeled excellent communication, provided valuable tools, and
created a warm, trusting atmosphere in the two-day training.  I live
and work with adolescents, have two young children of my own and I use
the principles taught everyday.  My students enjoy doing a "Virtues
Pick" and my four-year-old includes the words in daily conversation.
This is how we bring about positive, lasting change in the world!
 
Nadine Wetzel-Curtis, Residential Coordinator
Lake Country Land School, a Montessori learning environment

Dunn County WI   www.lakecountryschool.org

 

“The strategies of The Virtues Project Bridge the communication gap between staff and children by providing words to connect in a positive way.“ 

Sarah Nowak, YMCA Site Supervisor, Stevens Point, WI

 

 “The comment that impacted me the most was when a 17 year old client said that The Virtues Project taught him that he wasn’t born bad, but that he was born good. “

Kay Von Feldt, RN Northwest Guidance & Counseling Center, WI Rapids, WI

 

I have been through Terry and Valerie’s Virtues Project workshops. I left with so much more than the knowledge I gained from their workshops, but so much enthusiasm for how to incorporate the Virtues project in everyday relationships, my work place and for organizations I volunteer with.  I feel that they are very careful to make sure everyone feels comfortable, included, cared for; and that everyone will leave with a solid understanding of the Virtues concepts.  Terry and Valerie model very carefully with clear examples of using the virtues project-- even in how they relate to each other and their students!  I left so excited about the Virtues knowledge I gained, as well as all the possibilities for using virtues that I was inspired to finish training to become a Virtues facilitator as well!  So far, I have taught after school classes in Virtues education, given my religious education students the chance for meaningful virtues discussions-- as they gain awareness of virtues in themselves and each other.  As a Children's Assistant at a public library, I acknowledge virtues during preschool story times and school-age program activities, to create a safe, comfortable and positive library environment where all can feel successful.  I feel the Virtues Project is a highly empowering tool...it allows people to see and share the very best in each other and in themselves! 

Holly Cook, Children’s Assistant, Public Library Platteville, WI

 

To whom this may concern: 

I became involved with Virtues Project this past winter. It has helped me professionally, personally and as a parent. Some of the teachings of use of language I was already doing with my children as they have been growing up. Learning that an actual program exists has given me more tools to expand what I was already trying to do to build positive language usage in our home. The affirmations have helped me gain more confidence. The validation I feel is immeasurable.  

I have two sons ages 19 and 16. We as a family do Virtues Picks weekly with our family night. We set aside one night a week for us to keep connected with our busy schedules. My sons have shared the Virtue Cards with their friends. Many of these kids come over to the house, call me mom and then ask where the cards are because they want to pull a card to read.  

My oldest son plans to use Virtue Project ideas with his summer job at a camp. He applied to be a Resident Assistant at the college he attends. He wants to use Virtue Picks as an activity with college students. My youngest son brought the idea to his senior patrol leader with his Boy Scout Troop. He hopes that the Virtue Project will enhance and supplement the moral and character development that Boy Scouts are known for. These ideas could be used for other community activities too. 

How the Virtues Project has helped me professionally was to help understand the depth to some words we use and misuse. I feel that the Virtues Project work inspired greater understanding in myself and I was able to create a resume' recently that I feel very proud of. Personally, I am involved in the Family Life committee at my church. I am using the Virtues Project as part of a program. I am telling other churches about it and it seems to be well received. I created a workshop using information form the Educator's Guide and have been teaching it to confirmation classes. 

The flexibility, adaptability and creative tailoring within the guidelines of the Virtues Project make this universal model limitless. I truly value the Virtues Project. 

Ethel C. Quisler MS NCC, Howard’s Gate, Wausau, WI

 

The Virtues Project helps us build conscious knowledge about how to live our daily lives day by day.  It provides a good strategy for reminding us that we can control our behavior and actions in a way that supports and encourages us to become nobler, principled and ethical people. 

Nancy & Robert Eady, HS teachers, Conserve School, Land O’Lakes, WI

 

The Virtues Project has created a foundation to stand competently on.  It has changed the atmosphere and attitude of the staff and children in our Child Development programs. 

Sally Glennon, Child Development Director, YMCA, Stevens Point, WI

 

“The session that I enjoyed the most while attending the Region V Head Start Association Conference was “Awakening the Gifts Within.”  It was the very first session that I took part in and it was a great way to start my experience at the conference.  It was a very empowering workshop that helped inspire people to look at themselves and others with a new light-the light of practicing virtues. 

Three ways that I will use the information gained from this workshop are as follows:

*By strengthening my inner self as a teacher, a mother, a wife and as an individual to become more centered and believe in myself and my abilities.

*By becoming a stronger and more confident person, I will set an example for my students to believe in themselves and have confidence as learners in the classroom and to practice treating others as they wish to be treated.

*By looking for the good in others and acknowledging that virtue in others will help to maintain good communication and relationships with whoever I encounter.  This will help me to be a better team member within our collaboration and be a supportive and caring person to all my co-workers by acknowledging my virtues and the virtues of others.”

Shonna M. Stachowski, Fergus Falls Head Start Teacher, Fergus Falls, MN

 

"Going into my training with Val and Terry, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I
was a little nervous and a little skeptical.  I came out feeling renewed,
refreshed and joyful.  It helped me to realize that if I could get out of my
own way, others would see my virtues and honor them.  It reminded me to see
others through the virtues as well.  I now incorporate The Virtues Project
into every aspect of my parenting, writing and training.  Thanks for
empowering me Val and Terry!"  

Hilary Bilbrey (Mother, Author, Founder of Inspired By Family)

 

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Bringing Virtues to Life

The Virtues Project is a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life. The Project is sparking a global revolution of kindness, justice, and integrity in more than 95 countries through its facilitators and Virtues Connections.

The Virtues Project empowers individuals to live more authentic meaningful lives, families to raise children of compassion and integrity, educators to create safe, caring, and high performing learning communities, and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics in the work place. It has inspired and mobilized people worldwide to commit acts of service and generosity, to heal violence with virtues.

The Five Virtues Strategies awaken the gifts of character, through inspiring programs, books, and materials that help us to remember who we really are and to live by our highest values.

The Virtues Project was founded in Canada in 1991 by Linda Kavelin Popov, Dr. Dan Popov and John Kavelin. It was honored by the United Nations during the International Year of the Family as a "model global program for families of all cultures".
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 Terry Rahn & Valerie Hess

"The Virtues Project is a model global program for families of all cultures."
United Nations Secretariat, International Year of the Family

"The Virtues Project is a bridge between cultures."
Robert Greenway, Tahltan elder

We always knew that the main purpose of life on this earth was to develop virtues --- to be 'good' people and 'know' ourselves, but it was The Virtues Project that gave us the knowledge and the tools to begin that journey. Our gratitude for the ongoing growth and development of this great Project is boundless. And, in the process of our personal discovery, we have been privileged to guide others along this essential and meaningful path. What better thing is there than this?
Master Facilitators, Sheldon Ramer, counsellor and psychotherapist, New Zealand
Ellen Montague, administrator of Canterbury Virtues Trust, New Zealand

"TheVirtues Project is one of the best things to happen to the Boys & Girls Club. It helps us respectfully address the spirit of our kids and gives new hope to us all."
S. Lake, Board Member, B&G Clubs Twin Cities, Minnesota

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