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.

Books by Dr. Thomas Lickona

Raising Good ChildrenCharacter MattersEducating for CharacterSex Love & YouCharacter Quotations

Recent Articles by Tom Lickona:

Image Tom Lickona head shot 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.

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.



Narnian Virtues ProjectUsing the Narnia novels by C.S. Lewis to cultivate character in children -- a joint project of the England's University of Leeds and University of Warwick 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