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 and Marthe Seales, office manager. It has trained more than 25,000 educators and parents from 40 states and 26 countries.

For Colleges: Endorse “Care Counts in Crisis: College Admissions Deans Respond to COVID-19”

This statement was developed in collaboration with admissions leaders and has been endorsed by leaders at more than 360 institutions across the United States. It describes what college admissions offices value and expect—and don't expect—from students during the pandemic.

How to Raise kind kids book cover

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

"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


Books by Dr. Thomas Lickona

Smart & Good High Schools Book coverRaising Good Children book coverCharacter Matters book coverEducating for Character book coverSex Love & You book coverCharacter Quotations book cover

More Articles and Presentations

Stan Weed head shot

Tom Lickona head shot

Abstinence Education in Context: History, Evidence, Premises, and Comparison to Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Nova Science Publishers, 2014

"Educating for Character in the Sexual Domain:
A Comparison of Risk Avoidance and Risk Reduction Approaches to Sex Education"
PowerPoint presentation for the Integral Health Forum of Children and Adolescents, March 1, 2018. This complements Peabody Journal article below. 

"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.

Tolerance of Diversity of Conscience
How can we avoid anger and accusations, maintain mutual respect, and, if necessary,
“agree to disagree” when discussing sensitive issues?  See this just-released “Tolerance of Diversity of Conscience” video, developed by St. Mary’s University of Minnesota with input from SUNY Cortland’s Center for the 4
th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility).

Presentations and Articles

Tom Outdoor Image web

by Thomas Lickona

Raising Kind Kids 8 Things Parents and Teachers Can Do
The Review 2020

"Battling Pornography: The Power of Media Literacy and Character Development,presented at “Character Education and Digital Lifestyles” Conference, Rome, Italy;  October, 2016.

PowerPoint presentation that complements the above paper, "Battling Pornography."

Lessons from the Classroom book coverGet a great book
and support
the Center

A portion of
the proceeds
from the sale of each book is
donated to the Center.

The Mini Page book coverFor 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.