Washington Middle School earns character award

Celebrating Washington Middle Schools Champions for Character Award, front row, from left, are: Hannah Sanfilippo, Alison Wade, Alyssa Graycochea, Chris King, Robert Sieckhaus and Ian Hurt. Back row, from left, are: CHARACTERplus director Liz Gibbons, WMS Principal Adam Smith, WMS teacher Sarah Torretta, Ben Stieren and Champions for Character coordinator Karen Dapron.

Celebrating Washington Middle School’s Champions for Character Award, front row, from left, are: Hannah Sanfilippo, Alison Wade, Alyssa Graycochea, Chris King, Robert Sieckhaus and Ian Hurt. Back row, from left, are: CHARACTERplus director Liz Gibbons, WMS Principal Adam Smith, WMS teacher Sarah Torretta, Ben Stieren and Champions for Character coordinator Karen Dapron.

Washington Middle School has been selected by CHARACTERplus as the winner of the 2010 Middle School Champions for Character Award based on the school’s incorporation of service-learning into its curriculum and culture.

WMS is the only middle school in the area to earn this year’s award and will be recognized before the start of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game on May 11.

“WMS has many service-learning activities that we take pride in,” WMS teacher and National Junior Honor Society sponsor Sarah Toretta stated in a district news release.

Besides their longstanding tradition of supporting such organizations as Baskets of Hope and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, pupils in the school’s Kids Saving the Earth Club maintain a strong recycling program.

WMS French classes have partnered with an orphanage in Africa to create a pen-pal program that helps the WMS pupils learn French while corresponding with the children living in the orphanage, according to the release.

Washington Middle School also sponsors Veterans Day programs each year.

The Champions for Character Award program is sponsored by Cardinals Care and Learn and Serve Missouri.