The nation’s longest running character education conference celebrates its 30th year with the 2014 Fresno State Character and Civic Education conference.

Presented by Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Resources and its Bonner Center for Character Education, the conference starts at 8 a.m. Friday, March 28 at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall (M and Inyo) in downtown Fresno.

The conference provides prospective teachers with information on local civic agencies assisting children and families with life issues. Workshops address ethical issues facing teachers and strategies to enhance character strengths in students.

Dr. Maurice Elias, an internationally-recognized expert on children, parenting, bullying and moral development, will deliver the keynote address. Elias is director of the Rutgers University Social-Emotional Learning Lab and its Developing Safe and Civil Schools Initiative.

He is author of a number of books, including “The Educator’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement: Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom” and “Emotionally Intelligent Parenting,” which has been translated into nine languages. Elias’ many awards and recognitions include the 2013 Sanford N. McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education.

The conference is for Fresno State and Fresno Pacific University student teachers.

The event will also feature an award ceremony honoring these local elementary schools.

  • Oak Grove – Burton School District
  • Bioila Pershing, Herndon Barstow, Houghton-Kearney, Liddell, Madison, McKinley, Polk, River Bluff, Saroyan, Steinbeck and Teague – Central Unified School Distirct
  • Bud Rank, Cedarwood, Mountain View, Oraze and Red Bank – Clovis Unified School District
  • Valley Prep Academy – Fresno Unified School District
  • Webster – Golden Valley Unified School District
  • Fairmont, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lone Star, Madison, Quail Lake and Sanger Academy – Sanger Unified School District
  • Sundale – Sundale Unified Elementary School District
  • Pleasant – Tulare City School District

For more information about the Character Education conference contact Dr. Jacques Benninga at 559.278.0253 or