by Onab Falak
The Positivity Project’s vision is to partner with schools across the country and equip educators with the knowledge, confidence, and resources to teach their students positive psychology’s 24 character strengths. Their mission is to empower America’s youth to build strong relationships and to understand, appreciate, and exemplify the character strengths in everyone. Their main focus is relationships because they affect potential success in the future.
This project and partnership come at a very important time for youth. In today’s rapidly changing world, character strengths and a focus on relationships must be intentionally cultivated from an early age. It is critical to ensure that children’s mental, emotional, and moral capacities grow alongside advances in technology.
There are three steps to joining and participating in The Positivity Project. The first step is Partnership, once a school principal signs the Principal’s Pledge, they unlock access to all of The Positivity Project’s resources. The second step is training, a team of educators will be sent to a Positivity Project Implementation Training (P2IT), schools will have the knowledge and confidence necessary to teach positive psychology’s 24 character strengths. The final step is Inspire, equipped with the knowledge, confidence, and resources, teachers will be prepared to do what they do best. They will inspire students to be the best versions of themselves.
At J.E.B. Stuart High School, 2 students are designated to each classroom during 3rd period return to teach fellow peers about The Positivity Project. They follow the positive psychology, which is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living and maintains that what is good in life is as genuine as what is bad. Positive psychology’s 24 character strengths are grounded in extensive research and analysis that resulted in the landmark 800-page book Character Strengths and Virtues.
Q & A with Principal Gros
- What is the Positivity Project? How were we (JEB Stuart HS) introduced to this project? The Positivity Project (P2) is a national non-profit organization that partners with schools across the country and equips educators with the knowledge, confidence, and resources to teach our students positive psychology’s 24 character strengths. I was first introduced to the Positivity Project after connecting with one of the co-founders, Mike Erwin, on social media. From there, I went to a training and brought 8 staff members and later trained 50 students and that kicked it off.
- What is the goal/mission of this project? The mission of P2 is to empower America’s youth to build strong relationships and to understand, appreciate, and exemplify the character strengths in us all.
- How does the Positivity Project work? How are lessons planned? The P2 looks different in every school and this is the first year for it at high schools so we are blazing the trail since no one came before us. We decided to select P2 ambassadors who would help us write the lessons and then partner with teachers to teach the lessons through Raider Time.
- How were the Positivity ambassadors chosen? P2 ambassadors were recommended by their teachers and some students self-identified because they were interested in helping to lead the movement.
- How do you think Positivity project will influence the JEB Stuart community? I think over time that the Positivity Project will help our students develop stronger relationships with each other and the adults in the building. Strong relationships are the key to happiness and success in life. It is my hope that students will recognize the strengths in themselves and build on those and look for the good in every person around them.