If we wish to incorporate parents and community members as full partners in building character among youth, then the activities and programs in which youth participate during their out-of-school time are potentially important venues. This chapter describes how numerous agencies in a single community partnered with a university, with the help of the cooperative extension agent, to collect local data on how adolescents used out-of-school time, what they thought about right and wrong, and how well their own behavior comported with their understandings of what was right. Results indicated that surveyed youth characterized themselves as thinking more than acting in ethical ways. For instance, nearly half acknowledged having cheated on a test at least once in the past six months, although the vast majority thought that cheating was wrong. The three pathways the community identified for reaching youth were (1) extracurricular activities at school such as sports, yearbook, and pep club; (2) organized nonschool pursuits such as music, dance, hiking, and biking; and (3) religious activities. They found that nearly 90 percent of high school-aged respondents participated in one or another of these venues.
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