VBRC: Virtue Based Restorative Character Development

At St. Mary Parish School, we are blessed to have the opportunity to educate in order to develop the whole child. It is our caring staff’s mission to cultivate the entire person by engaging the human need for physical, mental, social, and spiritual nourishment. Academic excellence is the hallmark of a Catholic education, but we believe that nurturing the entire person in mind, body, and spirit is necessary for a happy, healthy, and balanced life, especially in light of our complex and ever-changing world. We offer the invaluable opportunity to expand student knowledge, explore their passions, create community, strengthen their sense of self, and come to know God all in one place. Students of St. Mary Parish School learn not only to succeed in life, but to do so while being Disciples of Christ. 

Character development instills in children ethical values that ultimately guide their decision-making process. Moral conduct is built into the fabric of our school culture. Students are taught to model Christian behavior and express their faith in word, thought, and deed. Ultimately, a Catholic education forms compassionate and judicious leaders with spiritual fortitude, strong moral convictions, and a desire to be civically engaged. The virtues based restorative character development provided here help us give students the tools they need to shape their futures, become their best selves, and transform their world for the better. 

Applications in Lessons:


  • Students choose a St. Mary's staff member to share what they truly admire about them. The staff member receives that "shout out" in their mailbox. This is an example of our students making a positive difference in the lives of those around them.

  • We change the world one act of kindness at a time. Some videos we watch on the important subject of Kindness follow:

The Science of Kindness:

Which acts of kindness in the following video can you choose to do?

  • Students make posters of their kind acts for placement around the school. Here is one example:

 Calm/Care For Self

  • In order to be our best self, we need to care for ourselves at times and stay in balance. As a class, and then as a family, we discuss our coping strategies during stressful times. The document “Coping A to Z” was discussed with students and sent home in an email to families. They were asked to discuss it and share what helps each of them.


Kind Acts for Kids

Coping A to Z

Character Traits to Compliment

Gratitude Journal


Buddy Benches

Our Girl Scouts worked hard to plan, research, and hold a variety of fundraisers over the course of several months, in an effort to bless the St. Mary Parish School community with Buddy Benches. The Girl Scouts hosted an unveiling and blessing ceremony for our new benches, which have now been installed on the playground. 

What is a Buddy Bench?
Check out this read aloud of The Buddy Bench, by Patty Brozo, for more information.