Character Based Literacy

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

What is CBL?

The Character Based Literacy Program is a character education project, and it is a literacy project which promotes school practices by which school pupils become good people, good citizens. CBL utilizes the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum because literacy is fundamental to success in school and in life, for all students. It is also a natural place to pursue questions of value and character as they occur in literature and writing. This program is mapped to the Common Core State Standards in ELA. A paid subscription is required to access lesson plans and other resources. For more information or subscription inquiries, please email Kim McCauley at
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Accessibility and Ease-of-Use

CBL is available on all platforms and automatically scales to any screen size or device.
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Effective Lessons and Engaging Themes

The Character Based Literacy lesson plans engage students in literature that is acceptable for grade level credit, but also ignites their imaginations, connects them to characters they care about, and provides opportunities to discuss the value context of the literature. The results are extraordinary.
CBL is a win-win program giving teachers an accessible, research based format that in turn encourages our alternative education students to engage in their education and break out of self limiting boundaries.
-Alameda County Office of Education