Success Stories

Topeka, Kansas

Capital of Kansas

Population 124,000

The entrepreneur spirit
in Topeka began in 1842
with the founding of a
ferry service across the
Kansas River.

Named "the 7th most
livable city in the Midwest"

In the year 2000, our city leaders were looking for a way to
promote good character and reinforce positive aspects of
doing the right thing and making the right choices. After
discovering the Character Cities model from the International
Association of Character Cities, the Topeka City Council
embraced the idea and unanimously passed a resolution
naming Topeka a City of Character.

The successes we have seen as we enter our fifth year as a
Character City are very exciting. Since 2000, we have seen a
continuous decrease in crime in Topeka. In 2003, Topeka
City of Character was awarded a four-year Partnership in
Character Education grant from the U.S. Department of
Education to continue our community-wide character
initiative, as well as to further disseminate character training
in Topeka Public Schools. This grant has enabled us to put
Character First! materials into the hands of approximately
10,000 students, teachers, and administrators in Topeka
Public Schools, as well as sponsor community training for law
enforcement and businesses. The response has been
overwhelmingly positive, and we believe that families,
schools, businesses, the faith community, law enforcement,
and the government of Topeka are all stronger because of
our character initiative.
         (reprinted from a 2005 IACC conference brochure)
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