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Definitions of Core Life Attributes

The Core Life materials are grade specific and can be implemented school wide,  by grade,  or by classroom.  Developed by teachers, each grade’s content covers the 18 following attributes in developmentally appropriate ways:

Attribute Definition
Respect (noun) Expressing a feeling of honor, appreciation, and  admiration towards someone


Responsible (adj.) Dependable; able to be trusted and relied upon
Rules (noun) A statement that tells you what is or is not allowed
Goal (noun) A purpose or objective that one strives to achieve
Volunteer (verb)  To offer oneself for a service willingly and without pay
Empathy (noun) The ability to understand and share another person’s experiences, emotions, and feelings


Gratitude (noun) A feeling of thankfulness or appreciation
Tolerance (noun) The willingness to accept feelings, behavior, or beliefs that are different from your own


Healthy Living (noun) Choosing nutritious food, staying active, and avoiding toxic substances to be healthy inside and out


Moderation (noun) Staying safely away from excesses or extremes
Honesty (noun) Being fair and truthful; not lying, cheating, or stealing
Wisdom (noun) Having experience, knowledge, and good judgment
Optimist (noun) A person who is hopeful about how things will turn out
Perseverance (noun) Having the self-discipline to continue a task in spite of many difficulties


Courtesy (noun) Polite behavior that shows respect for others
Survival (noun) the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances


Mindfulness (noun) A way of thinking that nurtures happier and healthier living
Transformation (noun) The belief that you can learn from or become smarter if you work hard and keep trying

The importance of enabling youth to function successfully within their learning and living environments cannot be understated.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is important to start preparing children to avoid the adoption of unhealthy behaviors by building their social and emotional skills as early as preschool. They outline 16 developmentally-appropriate principles on their website:

Principles 6 and 7 are listed below:

“PRINCIPLE 6 – Prevention programs can be designed to intervene as early as preschool to address risk factors for drug abuse, such as aggressive behavior, poor social skills, and academic difficulties.30, 31

PRINCIPLE 7 – Prevention programs for elementary school children should target improving academic and social-emotional learning to address risk factors for drug abuse, such as early aggression, academic failure, and school dropout. Education should focus on the following skills:8, 15

  • self-control;
  • emotional awareness;
  • communication;
  • social problem-solving; and
  • academic support, especially in reading.;”

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