Norris School District

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Positivity Project

“I can sum up positive psychology in just three words—other people matter. Period. Anything that builds
relationships between and among people is going to make you happy.” -Dr. Chris Peterson
What is The Positivity Project?
The Positivity Project (P2) is dedicated to empowering America’s youth to build positive relationships by
recognizing the character strengths in themselves and others. Their vision is to help schools and families cultivate
citizens and leaders who will enhance our communities and country. Positive psychology’s scientifically validated
24 character strengths serve as its foundation. Positive psychology teaches that people have all 24 strengths
within them – and that character is not just skills or behaviors, but rather an intrinsic part of each of us.
P2 is not a program with strict guidelines. Instead, it educates teachers on the character strengths and relies on
them to teach in a way that best meets their students’ needs. It is a school-wide endeavor, grounded in the
consistency of daily classroom instruction. Their model is holistic; it incorporates students, educators, and parents
through regular interaction with character strengths vocabulary and concepts.
The project will help educators instill vocabulary and the meaning of the strengths through explicit teaching of
each strength for 15 minutes per day. Schools will dedicate one week to each strength to help students
understand them through definition, examples, discussions, and exercises. Schools and educators are
encouraged to tailor the materials for their own best use, as they know their students and curriculum better than
anyone else.

What are the benefits of implementing The Positivity Project?
P2 ideals evolve throughout a student’s whole school career. The 24 character strengths develop and gain more
meaning for students as they grow. Once students learn the meaning of each strength and what it looks like, they
can then be embedded into the curriculum in every subject area. The character strengths become a part of a
common vocabulary and they will see them in everything that they do.
P2 empowers students by acknowledging that the 24 character strengths are already a part of who they are as
people. It helps them to realize that each and every one of them have these strengths. There is no system in
place to reward students who demonstrate “Good Character”. Rewards are fun to earn but they are finite because
they are external. We want children to internalize the traits that society honors. Acknowledgement to oneself and
realizing that you have the power to effect others in a positive way is much more meaningful and rewarding.
Positive character strengths can and should be acknowledged in the classroom, as it gives students a richer
understanding of what the character strength looks like in their peer group. Students understand that they have
their own “Super Power” and they will be acknowledged and valued for their own character strengths.
How can you help?
We would love for you to take an active role in your child’s character strength education. By using the character
strengths vocabulary and having discussions about the concepts, you will help your child understand the
character in themselves and others in a different light. You can follow our social media handles to see what we’re
doing each day – and tap into P2 for Families here:
Character Strengths
While often simplified as “grit” or “self-control,” character is more than simply individual achievement or a person’s behavior. It is a broad and complex family of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are recognized and encouraged across cultures for the values they cultivate in people and society. Character is the aggregate of who we are; it’s “what’s inside every one of us.”
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Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence
You notice and value the world’s beauty and people’s skills. You don’t take things for granted.
You act with mental, moral, or physical strength even when you know things are difficult or scary.
You come up with new and original ways to think about and do things.
You like exploration and discovery. You ask lots of questions because you want to learn more about anything and everything.
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You approach life with excitement and energy. You energize people around you.
You believe that all people have value. You approach situations with an unbiased mindset and treat everyone with respect.
You forgive those who have done wrong. You accept that people make mistakes.
You are aware of and thankful for good things that happen.
Chain smiley face Compass Gift
You do not seek the spotlight. You let your actions speak for themselves.
You like to laugh and bring smiles to other people.
You are honest and speak the truth. You present yourself genuinely and sincerely.
You are generous to others and you are never too busy to help out. You enjoy doing good deeds for other people.
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You value each member of your group and inspire people to do their best.
You value close relationships with others and being close to people.
Love of Learning
You master new skills and topics on your own or in school.
You like to consider new ideas and try new things. You examine things from all sides and don’t jump to conclusions.
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You expect the best from the future and work to achieve it.
You complete what you start despite obstacles. You never give up.
You appreciate that people see things in different

ways. You have the ability to understand the world
from multiple points of view.
You plan for the future and achieve your goals by making careful everyday choices.
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You have beliefs about the meaning of life and your life’s purpose. You seek to be part of something greater than yourself.
You have the ability to control your emotions and behaviors. You think before you act.
Social Intelligence
You are aware of other people’s thoughts and feelings. You understand why they do things.
You work well as a member of a group or team. You are loyal, reliable, and dedicated to helping your team achieve its goals.
Positive Psychology
Positive psychology is a rigorous academic field that encompasses character strengths, positive relationships, positive experiences, and positive institutions. It 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.Although positive psychology focuses on what goes right in life, it doesn’t ignore what goes wrong. As Drs. Peterson and Seligman wrote in Character Strengths and Virtues, “There is a temptation to regard positive psychology as focusing on the stress-free individual, but this is a mistake… In accentuating the positive, we cannot ignore the negative. Conditions of adversity, whether external or internal, must be part of what we address in discussing character strengths.”