The stories of America's Medal of Honor recipients are more than lessons in history, they are a study of character traits like courage, perseverance, and self sacrifice

"I do see some 'ah ha' moments, especially when we were doing projects on personal heroes," said Timothy Smith who helped launch the Medal of Honor Character Development Program at Cedar Bluff Middle School in Knox County.

The district has already trained dozens of teachers in how to incorporate the free program into their classrooms. Even more are expected to attend training classes next week that center on using some of America's greatest stories of heroism and bravery to encourage students to put some of those same traits into practice in their own lives.

"So there are easy connections there you know, sticking up for someone who is not being treated rightly," said Mr. Smith in an interview just before summer break.

He and his fellow teachers at Cedar Bluff Middle have prepared for months to welcome Medal of Honor recipients to their school for a visit next week. It will mark a momentous day for that school community but with the Character Development Program already in place next week will be a reward that they hope will perpetuate a legacy of service among the students even if they never put on a military uniform.

Character Development Program Sample:

Link to more MOH classroom content: