NEWPORT BEACH — Reading, writing and arithmetic form the heart of education.
But what about kindness, friendship, hard work and the other character traits that are also important to becoming a well-rounded individual?
"If the child's behavior isn't in check, they can't learn," said Pamela Coughlin, principal of Mariners Elementary School.
Every elementary school uses some kind of character education program, but about a third of those in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District have jumped on board with one program adapted from former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden's children book "Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success."
The program, called the Pyramid of Success, after the legendary coach's methods, was started in 2003 at Mariners by third-grade teacher Pat McLaughlin, a UCLA alumna. The program has since spread to eight schools.
"This was coach Wooden's vision — to value the pyramid and make it a part of their lives," she said.