Skip to main content

Character Education

Pyramid of Success

Harper for Kids Youth Character Development Program

In 2012, Reilly Elementary School partnered with Harper for Kids to teach our students important character traits from legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success and his definition of success for children which is: “Success is happiness in your heart because you made the effort, 100%, to do your best!”


Coach Wooden believed and taught that the most important responsibility each of us had to ourselves was to do everything we could to achieve our own potential. He offered his Pyramid of Success and his definition of Success as a guide, stepping stones to help young people understand what it really takes to make the effort – 100% – to fulfill their potential and do their best.


Our students learn about Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success through his children’s book, ​​Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success, which Peanut Louie Harper collaborated on. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success supports Reilly’s vision in creating a positive learning environment. For the past five years, Reilly students have received a Pyramid of Success and a challenge to tackle each of its blocks, which are desirable behaviors like self-control and cooperation, and the kids choose how they want to demonstrate each of these traits. After a student has completed all the blocks in the Pyramid of Success, they are invited to have lunch and take a picture with Principal Pitzen. Once a month, students are also honored at the school's Flag Ceremony. These positive reinforcements have proven to be highly effective to encourage building strong character. Reilly teachers are thrilled with the optimistic mindset and good citizenship that have characterized the campus since the Pyramid of Success program began.


Harper for Kids is a children’s nonprofit organization founded by Tim & Peanut Louie Harper. Harper for Kids mission is to teach children important life skills that will empower them to achieve their personal best in life and to help schools incorporate Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success into their character education.


We are excited about working with Harper for Kids to bring focused character education to our students. For more information about Harper for Kids and Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, please visit their website:

Eagle Scouts and the Pyramid

Eagle Scout Tanner Kamphefner dedicated to our school a large Red, White, and Blue Pyramid of Success wooden mural. This beautiful Pyramid, which hangs in the hallway of our MPR, has become the backdrop photo spot for our Pyramid of Success program. It serves as a visual reminder that "Character Matters" for anyone who walks through the doors of Reilly. 


Inspired by the pure interest students showed in the large wooden Pyramid that hung on the wall, Tyler Kamphefner followed in his brother's footsteps for his Eagle Scout Project by turning each individual block into their own mural.  With the help of over 100 volunteers, mostly from the Reilly community, Tyler used the pages from the book, ​Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success​, to paint 15 large murals throughout the school, each with a wooden character mounted on them.  These murals around the school have opened discussions at home and in the classrooms. Students have brought their parents and friends to Reilly to see them and share the story of Inch and Miles and what it means to do your Personal Best.  Somedays, it might have taken one of these murals or a special character on the mural to help a student want to come to school or cheer them up for the moment they are having.  As students walk in before school, recess time or after school they walk by the murals reciting Wooden’s Pyramid poems that go with each block; sharing and teaching each other and often grabbing the interest of another student.  There are weeks when parents are getting the same guided tour of each mural day after day.   Our students are proud to be students of character and learning the Pyramid of Success, knowing about John Wooden and giving 100% of their heart in all that they do.  It's such an uplifting atmosphere to see Reilly students taking care of their school, each other and practicing their Pyramid of Success because of ​these wonderful murals, the dedication of our hard working teachers and staff, and the encouragement from the Reilly community.

The Journey to Success