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Positivity Project Helps Develop Student Leaders

In September  2016 our school introduced students, teachers and parents to The Positivity Project: a new but ongoing effort to provide information and tools to help all members of our school community achieve a fulfilled, satisfactory life. St. Michael Catholic School was one of only 30 schools across the nation to participate in this exciting new program.

During a schoolwide assembly, students raised large cards with each of the character strengths written on them, teachers provided information and showed their enthusiasm for the Positivity Project, and everyone enjoyed a short video and joined in singing.  A video of the assembly is posted to our school website.

The vision of the co-founders of The Positivity Project is “to develop leaders and citizens who will strengthen our communities and country by internalizing the belief that “Other People Matter.”

Mike Erwin, president and co-founder of The Positivity Project, describes the Four Pillars of Positive Psychology as the way to help children develop meaningful relationships and coping skills. Those Four Pillars are:

1. Character Strengths

2. Positive Relationships

3. Positive Experiences

4. Positive Institutions

Each week teachers introduce and discuss a new character strength. During that week students look at their daily actions in terms of the week’s character strength.  In the past few weeks, students have explored curiosity, open-mindedness and kindness.  At each grade level the discussions about these character strengths differ, but lead to good conversation and better awareness.

Parents have been encouraged to continue those discussions at home and to model the character strengths within their families and groups of friends.  The goal is for everyone to understand that character goes beyond behavior and that by examining these character strengths adults and children can work together to increase empathy for others and develop meaningful relationships.

The weekly character strength can be found in the Principal’s Letter and in communications from teachers.  Resources are also available in ParentsWeb and at https://posproject.org/