The power of positivity is making Carroll Middle School a happy place, according to students and staff. For over a year, the Positivity Project has been in place at the school. The national program teaches students how to build positive relationships with others.
Recently, Positivity Project national board members Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Olympic gold medal vollyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings learned during their tour of Carrol that students follow the motto that “other people matter.”
“Everybody is more open, saying, ‘Hi,’” said twelve year old Vendela Gustafsson, a sixth-grade student “If you drop your books, they help pick them up. Everybody is just nicer to each other.”
Carroll was among the first schools in Wake County to start the Positivity Project. The program is currently in 17 schools in Wake county and 180 schools across the nation. The focus of the program is positive psychology, or the power of positivity according to project co-founder Mike Erwin.
Students learn about 24 character strengths that each person has. These include humor, open-mindedness, love of learning, perseverance, teamwork, and perspective. Hasselbeck says that when students consider the perspective of other people, it helps them deal with bullying.
“The other people matter mentality is not about the narcissism that we see around us right now in our communities,” Hasselbeck said. “This is the solution, that your perspective matters.”