What is the Positivity Project?
The Positivity Project is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping America’s youth build stronger relationships by recognizing the character strengths in themselves and others. The premise is simple, but the results will be profound. Together, we will help create str onger citizens and leaders who will enhance our communities and country by internalizing the belief that “Other People Matter.”
Positive psychology’s 24 character strengths serve as the foundation of The Positivity Project’s approach. We believe that character is more than just behavior – it’s what i s inside all of us. And research shows that teaching children about their own positive character, rather than just positive behaviors, has an enduring prosocial impact.1 By partnering with K-8 schools across America, we are enhancing students’ authentic self-confidence and strengthening their relationships with each other.
In today’s rapidly changing world, strengths of character must be intentionally cultivated at an early age. It is critical to ensure that our mental, emotional, and moral capacities grow alongside our advances in technology. And, we must make it a priority to educate our youth on how to tap into their character strengths – especially when times are tough.
There are 24 character strengths
- Curiosity – You like exploration and discovery. You find all things fascinating.
- Kindness – You are generous to others and you are never too busy to help out. You enjoy doing good deeds for others.
- Creativity – You come up new and productive ways to think about and do things.
- Perspective – You understand that people see things in different ways.
- Bravery - You show courage even when things are difficult or scary.
- Gratitude – You are aware of and thankful for good things that happen.
- Fairness – You treat people all the same and give everyone a fair chance.
- Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence – You notice and appreciate everything around you. You don’t take things for granted.
- Self-regulation – You have the ability to control your emotions and behaviors. You think before you act.
- Perseverance/Grit – You complete what you start despite obstacles. You never give up.
- Hope/Optimism – You expect the best from the future and work to achieve it.
- Humility/Modesty – You do not seek the spotlight, you let your actions speak for themselves.
- Integrity – You speak the truth and present yourself genuinely and sincerely.
- Love – You value close relationships with others and being close to people.
- Leadership – You encourage members of your group and value each one.
- Love of Learning – You master new skills and topics on your own or in school.
- Forgiveness/Mercy – You forgive those who have done wrong and you accept other people’s shortcomings.
- Zest/Enthusiasm – You approach life with excitement and energy.
- Spirituality/Devotion – You have beliefs about a higher purpose and are devoted to goals to self improve.
- Prudence – You are careful about your choices and you don’t take undue risks.
- Social Intelligence – You are aware of the feelings of other people and why they do things.
- Humor – You like to laugh and bring smiles to other people.
- Open-Mindedness – You examine things from all sides and don’t jump to conclusions.
- Citizenship – You work well as a member of a group or team. You are loyal to the group.
Sarah Angotti is a fourth grade teacher at Morgan Road Elementary in Liverpool, New York. She is a member of a select group of educators who helped to design and implement The Positivity Project in its first stages of development. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University with a dual major in human development and elementary education, as well as a master’s degree from SUNY Oswego in reading education. Sarah spent the first years of her career as an Educational Consultant/Assistant Director of a preschool and childcare center in inner city Rochester. She has been an active member of the Character Education Committee in her school district since 2004. She believes that educating children means teaching them to discover and develop their personal strengths to their fullest potential. She resides in Liverpool, New York with her husband and two children.
Amy Figger is a second grade teacher at Morgan Road Elementary School in Liverpool, NY. She is part of a select group of educators at the school that helped to implement Positivity Project at its first school. Amy received a degree in elementary education from SUNY Cortland with a concentration in psychology of the exceptional child and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix. Amy has taught in a variety of diverse demographic populations since 2001 and has always had a passion for teaching children. She believes that being a teacher means more than delivering a curriculum, but creating people that are going to impact the world for a lifetime. She and her husband reside in Liverpool with their two children.
Marc Herron is a second grade teacher at Morgan Road Elementary School in Liverpool, NY. Marc has been an educator at Morgan Road Elementary since 2002 and has been an integral part of the character education program. He was responsible for bringing The Positivity Project to its first school, Morgan Road Elementary. Marc received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from SUNY Oswego and a master’s degree in literacy education from Walden University. In the midst of implementing Common Core and state testing, Marc believes that character education needs to be the heart of a classroom. He and his wife reside in Syracuse with their three children.
Meghan Hurley is a fourth grade teacher at Morgan Road Elementary in Liverpool, NY. She is a member of a select group of educators who helped to design and implement The Positivity Project in its first stages of development. She is devoted to teaching character education and is proud to take on a leadership role in implementing The Positivity Project at its first school in the nation. In 2007, Meghan graduated from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY with a dual degree in childhood education and special education. She then received a master’s degree in special education (Birth-6) from LeMoyne College. She has been teaching since 2007 and believes that education should empower children and help them to make a positive contribution to the community. She currently lives in Syracuse, NY with her husband, Christopher.