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Brookside Elementary School Named 2022 National School of Character

Only 50 Schools Nationwide and Two in New York Receive’s Highest Distinction 

Brookside Elementary School of the Baldwin Union Free School District (UFSD) has been named a National School of Character., a national advocate and leader for character in communities including schools, families, workplaces, and sports, designated a total of 50 schools and two districts “National Schools” and “Districts of Character.” Brookside is one of just two New York schools to receive this recognition. Now three schools within Baldwin UFSD, including Meadow and Plaza, have joined the ranks of’s highest distinction.

“We are pleased to announce and celebrate the schools and school districts that have earned this national recognition,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, President of “Each of these schools has put in place a comprehensive approach to help students understand, care about, and consistently practice the character strengths that will help them flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens.” 

Each year, certifies schools and districts at the state and national level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development, which has a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate. 

“Receiving the National School of Character recognition is such an honor and testament to how our robust character education program continues to put our students first in everything we do,” said Mr. Unal Karakas, principal of Brookside Elementary School. “It is an incredible accomplishment to be recognized as a model school in the nation. Congratulations to all our hardworking staff, families, students, and the entire community for making Brookside an exemplary school.”

Criteria for selection are based on’s 11 Principles of Effective Character, which include providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership, and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort.

“Congratulations to the faculty, staff and administration as well as students and families of Brookside Elementary School on becoming a National School of Character,” said Dr. Shari L. Camhi, superintendent of schools for Baldwin UFSD. “Brookside continues to raise the bar with its Character Education Program and has truly helped our students grow and become strong, kind, and civic-minded individuals. We are extremely proud to now have three schools with this designation in Baldwin.” will honor Brookside and the other 2022 National Schools and Districts of Character at its next International Forum, to be held virtually, October 19-20, 2022.


Founded in 1993, empowers people of all ages to practice and model core values that shape our hearts, minds, and choices. Since 1993, has inspired, recognized, and celebrated thousands of people in schools, organizations, workplaces, communities and families across the world. is widely known for its 11 Principles Framework for Schools: A Guide to Cultivating a Culture of Character, a comprehensive framework developed by school leaders and character education researchers. During the past 20 years, more than 1,000 schools have been recognized by as a National School of Character.