Building good character

With basketballs and bicycles spinning, local musicians performing and presentations by more than a dozen speakers, Webster City Middle School welcomed another Character Counts Day Thursday.

School officials said the annual celebration of the six pillars of character has been going on for the past 15 years. The day is used to promote and teach about trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Thursday’s activities included an assembly performance by Bruce and Diane Crevier and their 12 children. The Crevier family’s Spin-tacular Basketball Show brought many stunts and tricks, including some while riding unicycles. The troop also brought a message of good character, which was spelled out with their banner, “Champions win the GAME – Goals, attitude, morals and excellence.” The Crevier family were finalists in the 2013 “America’s Got Talent.”

Miss Teen Iowa, Amanda Armstrong, also spoke to the students, sharing a story of strength and leadership.

Throughout the morning, speakers met with students in classrooms, presenting on a variety of topics. Joy Fopma of Webster City told of her mission trip to Jamaica. Kent and Milissa Bailey discussed the importance of good character in the business world. Ed Wardell talked about his time in the military and how the six pillars of character figure into his work. Abe Goldstein challenged students to think about leadership and thinking outside of the box. He also gave another presentation which focused on immigration and music.

Darcy Swon, owner of inTandem Marketing, talked about how character counts throughout life and mixed martial artist Michael McBride, discussed how students could make character count everyday.

Wrestling Coach Ted Larson and high school athletes brought along trophies from recent wins, and discussed how the students could get involved in sports during high school, and what it takes to be successful. LuAnn Garvey and Amanda Hadley brought high school students who talked about being involved in drama and speech.

Other speakers were Gavin Sandvig, Webster City graduate Guy Leman and the Iowa Central Dancers.

The afternoon brought “A Taste of Character,” featuring a sampling of foods that represented the six pillars. Local service clubs and community representatives served the treats while high school vocalists and musicians performed.

The students had an opportunity to learn about adaptive sports with a member of a wheelchair basketball team. Several students had an opportunity to run some drills and learn about the growth of this sport.

The middle school students also had an opportunity to give back to their younger counterparts with a trip to the elementary schools. The middle schoolers partnered with younger students for games and activities.