Character Counts

Educating Our Youth


“To educate a person in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society.”  -President Theodore Roosevelt

The City of Laguna Niguel, the Capistrano Unified School District and Laguna Niguel Police Services have joined forces to educate our local youth about being people of good character. Character Counts! Is a character education program that teaches young people the six pillars of character. These pillar values promote trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship.

The program is based on the specific language of these six pillar words. Character Counts! is integrated into the school’s current curriculum, not as an add-on program. Children learn to demonstrate both their understanding of the six pillars, and their ability to apply these values in real situations. Interactive adults support Character Counts! children by using the six pillar language, teaching, enforcing, advocating and modeling good examples. By helping children build self-esteem, communication and leadership skills, children can develop into successful adults.

Character Counts! was created by the Michael Josephson Institution and a group of educators, youth leaders, and ethics scholars in 1992. Today, Character Counts! is a partnership of over 475 non-profit organizations. These nationwide groups include community schools, Y.M.C.A. of the U.S.A., Big Brother’s and Sister’s of America, Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire Boys and Girls, and many more. Laguna Niguel’s Character Counts! Program is now active in nearly every elementary, middle and high school that Laguna Niguel children attend. Our local Y.M.C.A. and Park and Recreation programs are also dedicated to Character Counts!

The Laguna Niguel Character Counts! Coordinator is Deputy Todd Skoczulek who can be reached at (949) 362-430 or by email. For more information about Character Counts! visit their website.