Positivity Project implementation to spread “Other People Matter” motto schoolwide

Sophomore and P2 team member Noemi Pimentel performs a chemical experiment while spreading positivity through her shirt.

Priscilla Woo, staff writer

Chantilly is one of only nine schools throughout the country to pilot the Positivity Project at the high school level this year. This nationwide movement, also referred to as P2, hopes to stir enthusiasm, interaction and strong relationships between students and staff. Planned since last year by students and staff selected to be members of the P2 team, the movement has made its debut at Chantilly, replacing the old character education program with a student-centered approach with two LS sessions a week.  

“What I love most about the way we are doing Positivity Project at Chantilly is actually the student involvement,” P2 member and School-Based Technology Specialist Margaret Sisler said. “We have a team of about 50 students that are on the Positivity Project student team and their feedback is really what’s going to drive what we do here, and I think that makes this work.”

The student-centered nature of the project differentiates it from much of what is done at school because students are creating the program themselves, tailoring it to their personal interests and needs. This way, rather than squandering time focusing on something impractical, students are participating in an activity that they find meaningful.

The Positivity Project focuses on 24 character strengths that are found in each person to varying degrees. Understanding these traits provides a sense of identity and motivates individuals to be better people. The consistency of the LS lessons provides plentiful opportunities for positive thought and self-improvement.

“Learning [about the Positivity Project] and sharing it with others really helps to bring unity and close relations,” sophomore Rachel Rhee, part of the P2 team, said.

Through students taking the character strength survey in the weeks ahead and discovering their most prominent qualities as well as areas they can improve upon, the Positivity Project aims to foster conversation and interaction among people about top traits, similarities and differences. This project encourages communication in class and in the hallways as well as builds unity and strong relationships at school and in the community. These relationships serve as the foundation to health, happiness and resilience in school as well as life outside of the classroom.

“In our world today, it’s so easy to get caught up in worrying about ‘me’, and the Positivity Project really shifts that focus to what ‘you and I’ have in common and how we can work together to do things,” Sisler said. “I think if more of our students can see that, [the project] can only be a positive.”

In an age of technology and social media, it becomes increasingly difficult to make time for the things that truly matter, such as connecting with others. These connections are what last as people graduate high school, move on to college and enter the workforce; the Positivity Project movement facilitates forming these connections.

“Other People Matter” is the overarching motto of the Positivity Project, and the Chantilly P2. It accumulates all of the 24 characteristic traits to demonstrate what kind of behavior should be established that is not limited to just a school community. The P2 team looks forward to spreading this mentality throughout the school, positively impacting the Chantilly community for generations to come.