Foundations for Life typically starts in the classroom as a discussion and writing assignment. But by holding a local essay contest (in the school, district or community), you give kids additional incentives to do their best. An essay contest is fun, engages the community and provides students with public recognition, which builds confidence and can even enhance college applications and resumes. CHARACTER COUNTS! provides all the free materials you need to get started. And our program is endorsed by the AASA, NAESP, and NASSP.