Ben Franklin Academy (BFA) provides a character education founded on Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues. While the specifics of his virtues are particular to his time, place and need, they have been modified for the times and needs of our children, as appropriate for a public school and each grade.
The Core Virtues program is a non-sectarian, literature-based approach to character education, designed for use in a Core Knowledge school. The curriculum emphasizes a foundation of virtues closely aligned with Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues. Implementation involves the sequenced and consistent reading of good literature organized around harmonious virtues. This caliber of literature cultivates a vocabulary of high merit and integrity. Core Virtues helps to instill in children a strong desire to do what is right even in the midst of the most challenging situations.
BFA's Thirteen Virtues and illustrative explanations are:
- Temperance – Control is the key to improvement. Keep your words, actions, and temper in control.
- Silence – There is a time and place to speak up and a time to listen. You learn more by listening than speaking.
- Order – All things have their place. Keep your work area in order; keep your day in order.
- Resolution – Keep your word. When you have a task, get it done. Turn in your homework on time and be prepared.
- Frugality – Be frugal. Do not waste the school’s resources. Respect what you have been given. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
- Industry – Keep on task. There is a time for work and a time for play – do both with a good attitude.
- Sincerity – Be kind. Say kind words and treat others as you want to be treated. Encourage each other to succeed.
- Justice – Be respectful. Give everyone a chance to work or play. Give others a chance to express themselves. Share. Remember that others are counting on you, so live up to your duty.
- Moderation – Keep yourself in balance. Focus both on accomplishing things in which you excel and those you do not. Try new things.
- Cleanliness – Keep yourself and your work area clean. Keep your uniform clean. Keep your school clean. Keep your words clean.
- Tranquility – Keep yourself from reacting poorly to others. People are not perfect and the world is not fair. Learn to deal with both despite imperfections. Be patient.
- Purity – Be pure in thought and deed. White lies, a little gossip, and small, mean words are painful and say more about you than about others. What you think about others is how you will treat them. Develop good thoughts and feelings toward all.
- Humility – Be mindful of others before yourself. Treat them as you want to be treated. Think about how you can help others before being asked. Let others speak when it is their turn.