A program designed to create a better society by improving how students interact with each other launched this past fall at Robert E. Myles Elementary School.
The Positivity Project is a program dedicated to helping America’s youth build stronger relationships by recognizing character strengths in themselves and others. It is built on the concept of positive psychology, which is the practice of identifying and appreciating positive character strengths, relationships and experiences, and it’s based on the theory that 24 strengths comprise one’s character.
Positive psychology’s 24 character strengths include positive personality traits such as kindness, creativity, teamwork, perseverance, humility and gratitude.
Each week students engage in daily lessons centered around a character strength. These grade-specific lessons include videos and activities, as well as questions to facilitate classroom discussions that empower students to apply character strengths in their own lives. Students who exemplify the character
strength of the week are awarded Positivity Project Certificates to recognize their positive impact on the school climate.
“It’s important that we acknowledge students for exhibiting character strengths to positively affect others,” said school counselor and program
coordinator Kathleen Koscinski.
The program was implemented at Bradley Elementary School during the 2018-19 school year.
“We’ve had great success creating a common language to use when we talk about character at the kindergarten through grade six level. Ideally, we would like to expand the Positivity Project and integrate it into every elementary classroom and throughout the district,” said Mrs. Koscinski.
The Positivity Project was founded by two United States Army veterans and graduates of United States Military Academy at West Point, Jeff Bryan, a Niskayuna native, and Mike Erwin, a Syracuse native. More than 800 schools nationwide have incorporated The Positivity Project into their curriculum.