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About Two By Two

Building Character. Changing Lives.

One of the most disheartening challenges facing schools and communities is teaching children respect, responsibility, hard work, compassion, and other character values so desperately needed in today’s society. Escalating social-emotional problems have caused youth to struggle with peer pressure, social media, self-control, bullying, problem solving, and decision-making. One only has to read daily news headlines to witness the burden of crumbling moral values. As a consequence, we live in a much less kinder place.

The Two by Two® approach assumes a very optimistic view of the world and its condition. It takes one person inspiring change in someone else’s core values to start altering the environment of educational settings, families, communities, and the world. Two by Two® is committed to developing responsible citizens of strong character who care for, respect and appreciate people, animals and the environment. These citizens of strong character will not only recognize and embrace core values, but they will act upon and synthesize these values into their daily lives.

Thomas Lickona, author of Educating for Character, states, “Good character consists of knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good – habits of the mind, habits of the heart, and habits of action.” Two by Two® programming focuses on affecting children’s heads, hands and hearts. We know that the role of a teacher is to create an engaging pathway for knowledge to enter a child’s mind, but it is by appealing to a child’s heart that knowledge takes root. By having animals as an integral part of Two by Two® programming, it is easier to connect to children’s hearts. A quote, so simply stated by the National PTA in 1933, captures this. “Children taught to extend justice, kindness and mercy to animals, become more just, kind, and considerate in their relationships with each other.”

“Good character consists of knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good – habits of the mind, habits of the heart, and habits of action.”

Thomas Lickona

Author of Educating for Character

It is with this in mind that Two by Two® has created its comprehensive character education programs and curriculum. Immersing children in the meaning of eight core value words, which can be articulated across a variety of educational settings, brings these core values to life in all educational areas of a community. Two by Two® programming and services allow communities to develop a framework to build a learning culture that supports good character as well as academic excellence. In the last decade, findings show that effective character education supports and enhances the academic goals of schools and educational settings, thus good character leads to increased academic success. [1]

Character Education is a vital component of a child’s psychological development. It is essential that it is fashioned and implemented as carefully and thoughtfully as academic education. Two by Two® programs and services will help shift the moral and ethical compass in a positive direction by providing research-based, character education for educators, students, and their families. Through this intentional instruction, our children will have strong character development and grow up to flood communities and workplaces with kindhearted citizens who are respectful, cooperative, and empathetic.

[1] Marvin Berkowitz, Ph.D, and Melinda Bier, Ph. D, What WORKS in Character Education: A research-driven guide for educators (Character Education Partnership, 2006)

Meet Our Team

Two by Two Character Development is committed to growing responsible citizens of strong character who care for, respect, and appreciate people, animals, and the environment.

Our staff embraces this mission with lots of experience. The Founder, Educational Director, and Educator staff have all spent extensive time in schools as teachers and/or school administrators. We know and understand how academics and character must intersect and what children need in order to learn. We come together, each offering unique perspectives in education, to focus efforts and create materials that will “build character… change lives.” We invite you to read more about our staff below.

Kristen
Woodward-Vaassen

Founder & CEO

Nan Welch

Education Director

Cassie Busch

Development Director

Rebecca Johnson

Educator

Kirsten Weidemann

Educator

Pam Connolly

Educator

Kendra Kunkel

Educator

Wendy Lyon

Accountant

Chelsea Pell

Administrative Assistant

Amanda Dolter

Graphic Designer