Program Encourages Civility Amid Political Division

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DES MOINES, Iowa — At a time when some call the country the most divided it’s ever been, a character development program founded by the late former Governor of Iowa Robert D. Ray continues to unify the community, one year after his death.

Character Counts announced at the beginning of July its global rights over its character development programs.

“Character Counts is a community-based framework. Character develops first and foremost in the home,” Executive Director Scott Raecker said.

The late former governor founded the program based on civility. It touches the lives of 8 million youth worldwide.

One campaign is called “Show Some Respect.” It encourages people to be tolerant of all political viewpoints.

“It’s clearly something that we can be looking for. As people are observing these debates, what are the character competencies of our presidential candidates that we aspire to have leading our country?” Raecker said.

It’s been just over a year since former Governor Robert D. Ray passed, but people say his legacy will always live on.

“Governor Ray is known as an iconic statesman and always focused on enhancing civility through his statements,” said Raecker.

Character Counts has multiple workshops. For a list, visit


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