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Greensboro, NC-- Guilford County Schools (GCS) learnedFriday it is a winner of a national award. The school system wasnamed the2013 National District of Character.

According to a news release from the school, GCS is one of only three districts in the country to earn the recognition, which is part of the National Schools and Districts of Character Program, administered by the Character Education Partnership (CEP) in Washington, D.C.

This is also the first time a school district in North Carolina has won this national award.

In February, GCS was named the North Carolina District of Character, and learned it was selected as a national finalist from a pool of 131 schools and districts across the country. On Friday, May 10, CEP announced the 25 schools, three districts and one charter district to win the distinction.

"It is a big honor to win this national recognition," said GCS Superintendent Maurice "Mo" Green. "We launched our character development program in 2010 with three fundamentals: character education, service-learning and civic education. Since then, our students and staff have embraced the concepts, and it is having a positive impact on academics, student behavior and school culture."

Character, Service and Safety is one of the five areas of the new Strategic Plan 2016: Achieving Educational Excellence: Personalizing Learning. Character development and service-learning were big pieces of the Strategic Plan 2012, which focused on graduating students who demonstrated high academic achievement, strength of character and service to others.

All 124 GCS schools are engaged in character development and service-learning.

To learn more about the program click on GCS.