At Kiski, students experience the benefits of numerous programs and creative spaces as well as expert instruction. With the Character Development Program students are able to take these classroom learning experiences and apply them to real life situations. The Character Development Program began as a low ropes course and has evolved into an exceptional initiative incorporating everything from leadership skills and critical thinking to cultural awareness and problem solving.
Program Themes and Goals
Part of the initiative focuses on character development through understanding world issues. The main goal of the program is to bridge the gap between learning in the classroom and applying academic knowledge to help the community in real situations. The guest speakers bring perspective and context to big ideas such as civil rights and other relevant issues. Recently, Dan Biddle and Murray Dubbin -- co-authors of Tasting Freedom, a book about 19th century civil rights activism -- visited Kiski to discuss civil rights in American history and how it relates to present day issues.
“If we’re sending them off to college, they should be able to have a knowledgeable conversation about things like civil rights, things like community service, and things like genocide,” Rob Howard, Director of the Character Development Program, said.
Each class has a theme to focus on for the year. This year the freshman class will focus on community service, the sophomore on environmental awareness and appreciation, the junior class on civil rights (to better understand the history of civil rights and the current climate in the U.S.), and the senior class will focus on genocide education.
The goals of the program embody the mission of the school, which is to prepare students for success in college and in life. Through a series of projects and events, Kiski students learn leadership skills and develop character. For example, students will design and build catapults, which require that they solve problems as part of a team and collaborate on solutions. These projects, such as building boats and cigar box guitars, teach students valuable leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
“At the end of the day it all contributes to developing a stronger sense of character in the boys,” Howard said.
As Howard said, one of the things Kiski does best is teaching outside of the classroom while maintaining an academic environment and upholding classroom principles such as intellectual discovery and discussion. Kiski’s program excels at bridging the gap between academics and experiential learning. To learn more about education and the curriculum at Kiski, feel free to contact us!
1888 Brett Lane, Saltsburg, PA 15681 | (877) 547-5448
Established in 1888, The Kiski School is one of the oldest, independent, all-boys, college preparatory boarding schools in Pennsylvania and the United States. Home to 200 boys, Kiski offers an academically rigorous curriculum that includes Advanced and Honors courses, 12 varsity sports, and a community that allows boys to thrive through project-based learning and self-discovery. Kiski's beautiful, 350-acre campus is located in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, PA.