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Character Education at Summer Camp: Local center inspires Statesboro youth to succeed

Roosevelt’s Character Development Center is a program that builds character and self-esteem within the local youth of Statesboro. The center is currently holding its Summer Camp which seeks to impart the seeds of character education to its students. The center's ultimate goal is to build children into strong leaders, with strong values and ethics, to be dynamic members of society.
Grice Connect's Brandon Robinson visits Roosevelt's Character Development Center to meet its students and their team of leaders.

Roosevelt’s Character Development Center is a program that builds character and self-esteem within the local youth of Statesboro.

The center is currently holding its Summer Camp for children aged 8-12 years old. The camp’s curriculum is centered on teaching students about good character and the importance of good character as a key to life success.

Roosevelt's Character Development Students Kinsley (left) and Aubree (right) receive their Character Kid of the Week certificates. 

The summer camp’s dates are June 5th-July 28th, and it currently has 8 participating students. This is the first summer camp the center has held since COVID, but it is the fifth summer camp for the center overall. 

Roosevelt's Character Development Center Students enjoy a summer field trip to AMC Theaters.

At the Roosevelt Character Development Center Summer Camp, the students learn each week about the Six Pillars of Good Character. These include:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Citizenship

(For more information on the nationwide "Six Pillars of Character", CLICK HERE.)

The six-pillar curriculum starts with an introductory week of the pillars at the beginning of the camp. It then highlights a different pillar each week to be explored more. The camp culminates with a review of all pillars, and the children receive a completion certificate for the Summer Camp character course.

Moreover, each activity done at the camp involves one of those six pillars.

For example, during Trustworthiness week, the students learned about banking, how to write a check, why they should have a bank account, why they should save money, how to be trustworthy with someone else’s money, and more.

The Statesboro Fire Department speaks to Roosevelt Character Development Center students about Fire Safety. Photo Sourced from Roosevelt's Character Development Center Facebook Page.

Shelby Cone, the wife of Roosevelt Cone Jr. and the center's leader and administrator, shared the importance of character education.

“Character Education is important to this age group of students, particularly (8-12 years old), and that is because they are old enough to differentiate right from wrong, and good from bad," she said. "Moreover, they are at the fundamental age where they start to understand the consequences of their choices. So, part of our mission at the development center is to catch children right before they enter their teenage years so that we may impart the universal seeds of character education into them. This remains important to the curriculum at our center because once these children start entering their teen years, they have countless outside influences which may hurt, stunt, or obstruct their personal growth. So, if you don’t plant the seeds of character education at a fundamental time in a child's life, it may increase their risk of entering onto a troubled path.”

Roosevelt Character Development Center's CHARACTER Store. The center's students have the opportunity to cash in character points to take home prizes and goodies. 

Cone also explained more about the children targeted for recruitment into the character development center. 

“We target kids whose parents want to build them into strong leaders," she said. "However, we must have a successful parent-teacher partnership with the parents to make it work.”

Roosevelt's Character Development Center Students. Photo Sourced from Roosevelt's Character Development Center Facebook Page.

Roosevelt Cone Jr. knew as early as the 3rd grade that he wanted to work with children in some form or fashion. His inspiration came by way of his 3rd grade Art Teacher who inspired his love for art and for teaching others.

Roosevelt didn’t know growing up the exact medium that he would take to ultimately help children, but he wanted skill-building activities and character development curriculum to be involved in some manner.

Roosevelt holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development and a master’s in psychology. He also has an extensive work history with children; ranging from mentoring several at-risk local youth, to having prior employment at the Boys and Girls Club of Statesboro, and so much more.


The Roosevelt Character Development Center started in 2009 as “The Spot,” near El Sombrero on Fair Road. It started as a safe place for tweens and teenagers to come and hang out. Eventually, that meeting place involved into an afterschool program which educated children on how to build a successful life, while imparting the seeds of character development.

Roosevelt's Character Development Center is now located at 127 North Main Street, Statesboro, GA.

So now, at 14 years into his character development center, Roosevelt and his team continue to impart these principles into the center’s students, all while being mindful to nurture the parent-teacher relationship, which ultimately helps character education remain rooted in each child.

Roosevelt's Character Development Center students get books from the Bulloch County Book Bus. Photo Sourced from Roosevelt's Character Development Center Facebook Page.

The Roosevelt Character Development Center has many thanks to give for the continued success of their organization.

Shelby shared, "We would like to thank Bulloch Solutions for being a huge sponsor to our organization and our summer camp. We would also like to thank them for sponsoring some of our children who would otherwise not have been able to attend due to financial limitations."

Stuart Gregory, Director of Business Development at Bulloch Solutions, said, "Bulloch Solutions is honored to participate by supporting the Roosevelt Character Development Center Summer Camp. The work they are doing in enriching the lives of our youth is vital to the future of our community." 

Other supporters and sponsors which the center thanks are:

  • Pojos Country Store
  • Hall & Navarro
  • Lehman Franklin
  • Boulder Custom Homes
  • Gabe T. Cliett, P.C. Attorney at Law
  • Kickback Shack
  • Pat Hirsch, Realtor at ERA Hirsch Real Estate Team
  • Larry Williams, Realtor at ERA Hirsch Real Estate Team
  • Statesboro Exchange Club
  • Kimberly S. Ward, LLC
  • Southern Pottery & Art Studio

To view more updates and events from Roosevelt’s Character Development Center, visit their Facebook Page HERE.

For more information on the Roosevelt’s Character Development Center and how you can support its ongoing mission, please contact Shelby Cone at (912) 541-2082.