The Positivity Project

Saratoga County

Building positive relationships while teaching kids that other people matter

MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — “The Positivity Project” or simply “P2” was created by Mike Erwin and Jeff Bryan. The two met as cadets at West Point. After multiple tours in Iraq, both men wanted to continue to serve their country in a meaningful way, so P2 was born.

“Increasing political polarization. Increasing loneliness. Mental health issues. Wondering what can help those things. That’s why our mission is to empower America’s youth to build positive relationships and become their best selves,” Bryan says.

A simple, pre-packed curriculum is distributed to partner schools for daily 15-minute lessons that focus on 24 character strengths and the idea that other people matter. Locally, the Mechanicville City School District rolled out the program this year.

Mechanicville Superintendent Bruce Potter says, “I’ve done a lot of research about the impact of social-emotional learning on academics. Not only does it help students from a mental health aspect, they perform better. P2 happens to be a wonderful vehicle and we couldn’t be happier to be a partner with them.”

Mechanicville is the only district in the country that is offering P2 across the board, K-12, and both principals say the kids are embracing it.

“This is not just a school program. We are working with the community on paying it forward and doing different events to help our kids understand what it means to be a good citizen,” says Mechanicville Jr./Sr. High School Principal Mike Mitchell.

Mechanicville Elementary Principal Chris Turcio says, “You have your kindergartner learning about it now, it’s going to be engrossed in their language. By the time they hit third grade, it’s going to be a part of their everyday conversation. ‘Today, dad, I was brave.’ ‘Today, I showed compassion.’ I’m excited to see where it goes.”

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