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 Medal of Honor Program Focuses on Character

​Local students are learning about courage, character and sacrifice through an online pilot program focused on Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.

Mary Kraus, project specialist with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), is teaching educators how to incorporate the online lessons into their classrooms. Medal of Honor: Lessons in Personal Bravery and Self-Sacrifice is a collaboration between the USS Midway, SDCOE, Classroom of the Future Foundation, the Medal of Honor Foundation and Haiku Learning.

“It’s an amazing character-education program,” Kraus said.

Eight teachers at schools throughout the county are involved in the pilot program, including public, charter and private schools.

The lessons have sparked productive and though-provoking discussions among students, Kraus said. In one of the classes recently, two students discussed how their grandfathers were in the Vietnam War, on different sides.

“Both grandchildren are now engaging in a discussion coming from a different perspective but in the same class,” Kraus said.

The idea to start the program came from a two-week summer program for history teachers at the USS Midway Museum.

The lessons in the pilot are based on a much larger curriculum by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation based in Washington, D.C. Kraus used the traditional binder full of lessons to create the online program, adding additional resources.

The curriculum doesn’t glorify or glamorize war, said Allen Angell, president of Haiku Learning.

“In fact, the focus is on how these ordinary people did extraordinary things,” he said.

The lessons include interviews with a variety of Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients. Kraus said she’s hoping to eventually get local recipients into the classroom as part of the program.

Depending on how the pilot is received, the program could grow to include additional lessons and students throughout the country.