In order to help bridge the gap between research on character virtue development—particularly “relational” virtues such as generosity, gratitude, and forgiveness—and the daily lives of parents, the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley (GGSC) proposes to host a “Growing Relational Virtues” project that will have three primary components. The first will center on a request for proposals targeting community organizations that have strong connections to networks of parents, particularly to parents with school-age children in grades K-8. The RFP will offer awards to devise or expand innovative ways to educate parents on the research-based keys to developing character virtues in themselves and their children. The total amount to be awarded will be no greater than $1M, with up to half going to faith-based organizations. The second component of the project will center on two convenings that bring together the community organizations and the advisory committee. The third component will involve widely sharing with parents the top research and best practices for nurturing relational virtues. This will include identifying and reporting on the latest research findings, well beyond the research or practices covered explicitly in the RFP, as well as distilling the key lessons learned from each of the awarded organizations. To this end, the GGSC will publish a series of articles for parents on its award-winning online magazine, Greater Good. The GGSC will also produce a series of short videos optimized for viewing on mobile devices and social media—ways to reach busy parents on the go. By seeding many different approaches to developing relational virtues, an underlying goal of the project is to identify several promising ideas that can be scaled up or extended to other communities. Toward the project’s close, the GGSC will write a final report with lessons learned and future recommendations for how to expand efforts to educate parents on relational virtues.
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