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Welcome to Character Speaks

The mission of Character Speaks, Inc. (CS) is to provide academic instruction, character development and the reinforcement of proficient speech and reading patterns through the use of professional educators and video feedback.  CS will use funds to improve the speech of at-risk elementary-grade children through intensive one-on-one coaching and practice.  This will result in  improved vocabulary, pronunciation and diction.

One of the philosophical pillars upon which CS is based is that every citizen must, insofar as possible, be a contributing, producing member of society.  To the extent that bias or prejudice hinders these efforts, it must be overcome.

A source of bias which works with great prevalence against certain members of the American population is based on their speech patterns.  Whether it is the accent of a particular country or ethnic group, or the cultural norms reflected in speech, some members of society are often discriminated against based on their lack of polished presentation skills, whether in an interview or simply over the phone.  Simply put, a lack of this ability stops many students and potential employees before they ever have a chance.

For many students, there is simply a lack of awareness in seeing the importance of “switching codes” (as linguistic professionals describe it).  They are unable to move from the cultural patois of their peers to the more formal speech expected of well-educated students.  Students must understand early on that if they cannot speak well enough to not just gain employment, but climb ladders of opportunity, their options will be severely limited.

Character Speaks is a narrowly focused program designed to address this specific problem.  A core characteristic of the program is its 6:1 student to teacher ratio.  This allows the teacher to hone in on each student's weaknesses and tailor a curriculum to maximize the improvement of all involved.

Character Speaks intends to establish a first year class of 25 students (many are children of incarcerated parents and those whose parents are in substance abuse treatment programs) and show their improvement by video-recorded presentations before, during, and after the program timeline.

Thank you for your interest in CS and its goals.  We look forward to creating a quality program that will have a great impact on the local community, and which we anticipate will expand over time as its success becomes more well-known.

 Student and Teacher