Most attempts to
incorporate character development into school curricula have run up
against the lack of comprehensive multi-year materials for students and,
especially, teachers. Alliance for the Family / AFF has filled the gap
with an intense, 12-year program, Alive to the World / AW,
based on universally honored values. It is unique in that it is
intensive (1 hr/wk, 35 wks), extensive (grades 1-12), and based on an
ongoing story of friends who grow up as the reader does and who get in
and out of situations that the student identifies with. Since 2001, ALAFA has sold—with discounts for needy schools—260,000 copies of the books
that AW is centered on. In 11 countries of Latin
America, 65,000 young people now follow the program, almost all of them
during school hours. In the U.K., a test phase has 1,000 students.
aware of the crucial role that teachers have in character
formation - through their words and example - ALAFA has provided them with
detailed manuals and has trained them in the use of Alive to the World, always on-site. To keep up with the expansion of the program, AFF has created a Virtual Education Center / VEC. This interactive, online environment offers activities and services
similar to those that one receives at a traditional academic
dialog with an instructor, interaction with fellow
students, exams, etc. It does so in a manner that takes full advantage
of the world wide web: text, audio, video, self-pacing, interaction with
a human tutor in real time or by messaging and email, etc.
first offering, Universal Values and the Person, conveys the
anthropology, psychology and developmental science that underlie Alive to the World.
Its target audience, however, is broader than the teachers of AW.
(These will study a supplementary module with specifics about that
program.) The course, open to the public, should be of interest to all
educators and parents. In time ALAFA will make its
technology and personnel available for a variety of courses on values,
ethics and education offered by organizations that share its vision and
VEC exists. To open its doors to the
public will require an additional investment of $150,000. After two
years, it will be self-sufficient. ALAFA invites individuals, companies,
and other institutions to join this effort to transmit universal values
to children, teenagers and adults via online courses.