Center for the 4th and 5th Rs

The Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility), located in SUNY Cortland's School of Education, was founded in 1994 by education professor and psychologist Dr. Thomas Lickona. Its mission is to promote the development of performance character and moral character—excellence and ethics—in schools, families, and communities. Its staff includes Dr. Lickona, director; Marthe Seales, office manager; SUNY Cortland students; and community volunteers. It has trained more than 5,000 educators from 40 states and 22 countries.

how to raise kind kids

How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude and a Happier Family in the Bargain by Thomas Lickona (Penguin, April 10, 2018). Available for pre-order at Amazon.

"If we practice Dr. Lickona’s wise, proven, warm advice, we will raise a generation of thriving, kind-hearted kids who want to better the world. What better legacy could there be?"  —Michele Borba, author, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World



How to Raise Thankful KidsTom Lickona's article in Mother magazine (Nov. 1, 2017) is adapted from his forthcoming book, How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain (Penguin, April 2018). Read full article. See also

Hal urban

SUBSCRIBE HERE to award-winning teacher/author
Hal Urban's blog, "LIFTING UP TEACHERS," 
honoring teachers and including suggestions
for effective teaching, quotes, humor, and good news.

Books by Dr. Thomas Lickona

Smart & Good High Schools BookRaising Good ChildrenCharacter MattersEducating for CharacterSex Love & YouCharacter Quotationshow to raise kind kids

Recent Presentations and Articles by Tom Lickona:

Image Tom Lickona head shot

"Battling Pornography: The Power of Media Literacy and Character Development," presented at Interaxion Group's “Character Education and Digital Lifestyles” Conference, Rome, Italy;  October, 2016.
PowerPoint presentation that complements the above paper, "Battling Pornography." 

My 45-year Journey as a Moral and Character Educator:
Some of What I Think I've Learned
An invited lecture at the Jubilee Center
for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham, England

StanWeed_for_webTom Lickona head shot

Abstinence Education in Context:
History, Evidence, Premises, and Comparison to Comprehensive Sexuality Education
Nova Science Publishers, 2014

"Educating for Character
Peabody Journal of Ed. cover
in the Sexual Domain,"
Peabody Journal of Education,
Vol. 88, Issue 2 (research and best practices)

Yes Pa book coverCharacter Education Resource

Yes Pa shows kids the secret of a happy life — and how to become the author of their own life story. Author Fred W. Sarkis shares the lessons that transformed his life when he was a poor child with a bad attitude, who was bullied because of his skin color. These life-changing lessons helped him gain confidence, persevere, & overcome great adversity. Fred's not-for-profit  Foundation provides a free character education program widely used in schools, corrections facilities, and mentoring programs. The Yes Pa book, a Teacher Guide, and a Corrections Guide are available without charge at

The Center is grateful to the John Templeton Foundation for its past support, and to the Sanford N. McDonnell Foundation and Dr. Hal Urban for their ongoing support.

 Center logo                         Performance Character Moral Character Ball Smart & Good Schools
Resources for schools
and teachers
Helping schools, teachers,
and parents develop good
character in youth.

Spring 2016:
Spring 2016 Narnian Virtues Project
Special issue on the Narnian Virtues Project and an Invitation to Join

50 Shade50 shades book covers of Grey promotes violence.

What can we can do about it.

Lessons from the ClassroomGet a great book
and support
A portion of
the proceeds
from the sale of each book is
donated to the Center.

The Mini Page imageFor Kids and Their Families

In this issue, read all about GOOD CHARACTER TRAINING (Respect & Responsibility). Today, many school kids are learning to be smart in school subjects. They are also training or practicing how to be good people.  Mini Page activities meet many state and national educational standards.


Harvard GSE

  Rick Weissbourd image resized

Click on video above to listen to Richard Weissbourd, co-director of the Making Caring Common project on "Raising Caring, Respectful, and Courageous Children and Preventing Cruelty and Bullying."

Our Strategies and Tips for Parents and Caretakers and Raising Caring and Fair Kids are based on the collective wisdom of a coalition of diverse organizations brought together by our Making Caring Common project, all of which have extensive experience working with children, educators, and parents on issues such as bullying, social-emotional development, character education, building strong communities, and empowering youth.

Lion cover Narnian Virtues curriculumUsing the Narnia novels by C.S. Lewis to Cultivate Character in Children -- a joint project of the University of Leeds in England and SUNY Cortland's Center for the 4th and 5th Rs. Learn more.


I Believe in Love logo

A resource on dating, friendship, sex, love, marriage, and family


 UK Character Project:

Jubilee Center logo

The Center for the 4th and 5th Rs is partnering with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, England.  "There is no more important human quest than the Jubilee Centre's undertaking—to generate useful knowledge about how to foster good character in every area of our personal and public lives."       —Tom Lickona

The Center's Global Outreach