Character counts when local students 'Be Like the Coyotes'

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota is teaming up with area elementary schools to “Be Like the Coyotes” and engage students with a fun project that will reinforce character education.

Each letter of “Coyotes” represents a specific character value and when students “Be Like the Coyotes,” their behavior is recognized on a flat Charlie Coyote which is then displayed at their school. Students can be awarded for any of the following positive behavior:

C – Caring

O – Open minded

Y – You are respectful

O – Obey the rules

T – Team player

E – Express gratitude

S – Set a good example

Four area elementary schools were selected to participate in the spring program: Beresford, Explorer Elementary at Harrisburg and two elementary schools in Vermillion – Austin and Jolley. An assembly featuring USD students and Charlie Coyote will introduce the “Be Like the Coyotes” program with fun skits and role-playing character scenarios at each of the local schools beginning Wednesday, March 2 at 2:30 p.m. at Beresford. Additional assemblies will be at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16 at Explorer Elementary in Harrisburg, S.D.; at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 at Austin Elementary in Vermillion; and at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 7 at Jolley Elementary in Vermillion.

The “Be Like the Coyotes” program will continue in the fall with more elementary schools and area high schools will be participating.  A flat Charlie will visit high schools during Homecoming to “live” the student body experience at their school for a week. Students will have an opportunity to submit photos of their adventures with Charlie and selected photos will be entered into a best picture contest online where students can vote for their favorite adventure.