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LOOK FOR THE

GOOD PROJECT Making America Kind, One School at a Time.

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Look for the Good Project is a nonproďŹ t organization that empowers children to run school-wide gratitude and kindness campaigns. Our mission is to make America kind, one school at a time. We build our programming around the core belief that gratitude changes mindsets, reduces violence, and improves everything. To sponsor a Look for the Good Program at a school near you, please contact our office at the Connecticut Association of Schools: Look for the Good Project 30 Realty Drive Cheshire, CT 06410 info@lookforthegood.org

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ACCOMPLISHMENTS

SINCE WE LAUNCHED OUR SCHOOL PROGRAM IN 2016

121,545 CHILDREN HAVE EXPERIENCED OUR 10 DAY PROGRAM

1,875,665 30

STATES

263

SCHOOLS

92%

15,337 3

MESSAGES OF GRATITUDE GENERATED

OF KIDS RECOMMEND THE PROGRAM

LOW-INCOME STUDENTS WERE PARTIALLY OR FULLY SPONSORED IN 2018


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TABLE OF CONTENTS Mission .

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MISSION Making America Kind, One School at a Time.

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The Problem

NEARLY 35 MILLION U.S. children are experiencing toxic stress

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The Problem

POSITIVE STRESS Normal everyday stress, like starting a new daycare or taking a test at school. Stress hormones help the body do what’s needed in the moment, but once the event passes, our body goes back to its normal state.

TOLERABLE STRESS More serious stress like an injury, immigration, or living through a natural disaster. A flood of powerful stress hormones help the body rise to the occasion. The presence of a caring and trusted adult offsets this rush, calming the child’s stress response, and building resilience.

TOXIC STRESS Severe or long-lasting stress such as emotional or physical abuse, or neglect—without support from a caring and trusted adult. Powerful stress hormones overwhelm the child’s body and brain. This can result in lifelong issues with mental and physical health, as well as behavior.

Resource: stresshealth.org

TOXIC STRESS CAN HARM A CHILD’S DEVELOPING BRAIN AND BODY, IMPACTING THEM FOR LIFE Nearly half of all American children are dealing with what pediatrician’s are calling, “Toxic Stress.” Unchecked, toxic stress can dysregulate a child’s stress response and lead to life-long behavior problems, learning difficulties, and physical health issues. According to StressHealth.org, kids who are exposed to very high doses of toxic stress without the support of a loving adult “can have more than double the life-time risk of heart disease and cancer and a nearly 20 year difference in life expectancy. They’re also at greater risk for depression, obesity, substance abuse problems, smoking, lung problems, and teen pregnancy, along with other chronic illnesses down the road.” When teachers have experienced toxic stress themselves, it can be difficult for them to buffer their students against it, which is why community-based solutions are needed.

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The Problem

AS THE TOXIC STRESS INCREASES, SO DOES THE RISK OF LONG-TERM HEALTH PROBLEMS

POSSIBLE OUTCOMES FROM TOXIC STRESS

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The Problem

WHEN HALF THE POPULATION IS EXPOSED TO TOXIC STRESS, SOCIETY FAILS Without intervention, toxic stress stunts child development, leading to a life-time of physical and mental health issues, social disfunction, addiction, violence, and poor choices which can negatively impact society. While there is no target age for intervention, research shows that providing supportive and positive conditions for early childhood development is more effective (and significantly less costly) than attempting to address the consequences when these children have become adults. This is why Look for the Good Project focuses on children, ages 5 - 12, and giving them tools to develop positive relationships within their communities. Studies show that children who have secure, trusting relationships with adults experience minimal stress hormone activation when frightened by a strange event, and those who have insecure relationships experience a significant activation of the stress response system. By creating an environment in which positive relationships are prioritized, Look for the Good Project is setting the stage for healthy child development, as well as a pathway for effective intervention when toxic stress is detected. Resource: Center on the Developing Child (2007). The Impact of Early Adversity on Child Development (InBrief). Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu Image Resource (Opposite Page): rwif.org/aces

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STRATEGY Empower children, teachers, and parents to unite around a fundamental life skill: Gratitude. 13


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WHY GRATITUDE? Gratitude is a thankful mindset that empowers you to show appreciation for people, places, things, and activities. Research shows that:

GRATITUDE MAKES YOU HEALTHIER It lowers your blood pressure; It boosts your immune system; It helps you sleep longer; And you become better able to deal with stress. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains. They are also more likely to take care of their health. When we practice gratitude, we exercise more and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with doctors, which helps us live long, healthy lives.

GRATITUDE BOOSTS YOUR INTELLIGENCE Students who practice gratitude tend to get higher grades. Research shows that if you practice gratitude right before a test, you are more likely to score higher on the test. You are also more likely to have higher self-esteem, bigger goals for yourself, and more interest in giving back to your community.

GRATITUDE MAKES YOU KIND Gratitude improves your mood and makes you fun to be around. It helps you communicate better and strengthens your relationships. According to Child Trends’ National Study of Flourishing Children, grateful teens get into 13% fewer school ďŹ ghts than other teens. Look for the Good Project has also observed that kids who run Gratitude Campaigns feel more popular, inspired, and connected to their classmates.

Gratitude is good for you! BOTTOM LINE _______________________________________

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GRATITUDE MAKES PEOPLE CONSTRUCTIVE & RESILIENT According to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, “having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps gray matter functioning and makes us happier and healthier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive and less resistant.” In addition, researchers from the Greater Good Science Center report that grateful kids are happier, more satisfied with their lives, more generous, more cooperative, and more likely to use their strengths to better their communities. Based on the “Broaden and Build Theory” in positive psychology, our school program is designed to expand student and teacher awareness to a wider range of positive thoughts and actions, which in turn makes them more positive and constructive under stress.

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GRATITUDE ALSO BUILDS STRONG RELATIONSHIPS When children experience a consistent connection with a supportive adult, it can alter their brain chemistry and prepare them for learning. It can also buer them from toxic stress and sometimes even reverse its life-long negative eects. This is why schools need to prioritize Social Emotional Learning Practices (SEL) and relationship building. According to a 2017 study of 97,000 K - 12 students, SEL Practices boost academic success, decrease disruptive behavior, and reduce emotional stress in the long term.

Image Resource: CASEL.org Research Citation: https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12864

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A STUDENT-LED APPROACH We work directly with elementary schools to improve the school climate using a two-week, school-wide Gratitude Campaign. Since students and teachers run the program themselves, they feel empowered by the positive result of the program and their enthusiasm trickles out to parents, teachers, students, and nay-sayers who have not yet bought into the program. The student-led program is also: • Simple: The curriculum is simple and easy to integrate into other programs. • Effective: 76% of students have reported more kindness; 71% have reported less bullying; and 92% recommend the program to other kids. • Scalable: With only one employee, we have reached 121,545 students in 30 states, through mostly word-of-mouth. • Affordable: Our Gratitude Campaign program averages 13¢ per student/day. The impact is universal - affecting kids suffering from toxic stress as well as those on the opposite end of the spectrum, who may be struggling with the perfectionism that comes with privilege or opportunity.

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SCHOOLS RECEIVE A KIT Instead of visiting each school ourselves, we ship materials to the school and give staff year-long access to a password protected Online Training Platform which helps schools plan and implement the program at their own convenience.

The Online Training Platform includes a 20 minute video which empowers student leaders to run their own school-wide Kickoff Assembly with minimal supervision from an adult. During this event, students learn about a daring whale rescue which originally inspired the Look for the Good Project and how to use gratitude to “get out of the crab trap” of negative thinking. Since this video offers a true story about an animal expressing gratitude, students are naturally inspired to participate.

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PROGRAM Look for the Good Project is a simple first step in setting the stage for healthy child development. It integrates well with other social emotional learning programs.

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PROGRAM ACTIVITIES The Gratitude Campaign is a two-week school-wide art and writing program that helps students and teachers express gratitude for themselves, each other, and the people who matter to them. Program activities include: Gratitude Spot: The Gratitude Spot is a temporary floor

sticker to remind students to look for the good. When students step on it, they are instructed to think about one thing they’re grateful for. Once the Gratitude Spot is demonstrated during the Kickoff Assembly, students are eager to share their gratitude.

Kindness Cards: Students and teachers are given these cards

to encourage compliments between students and staff. Since the cards say “You Matter” on the front, students are encouraged to tell each other why they matter when they give away a card.

Gratitude Wall: Each day, students and teachers are

asked to add their gratitude to a display called the “Gratitude Wall.” These notes are written during morning announcements or at an appropriate time during each day of the 10 day program. Schools will often keep their Gratitude Walls up all year because it creates such a sense of pride and ownership among students.

You Matter Letter: In addition to sharing their gratitude on the Gratitude Wall, we ask students to write a letter of thanks to someone who matters to them. They can write to anyone they want. Students will then read this letter out loud to the person they wrote to, and reflect on the vulnerability of sharing and receiving kindness and gratitude.

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BUGBEE FIFTH-GRADERS LEAD ‘LOOK FOR THE GOOD’ PROJECT By Ronni Newton for WEHA.COM March 1, 2018 Students streamed into the Bugbee Elementary School auditorium Tuesday morning for the “monthly buzz” assembly, but this assembly included the announcement that a special program will be launching Monday that will involve every students in the school. Principal Kelly Brouse said she heard about the “Look for the Good” project from a friend last summer, and when she spoke with the staff about it the teachers agreed that they wanted it to be student-run. The project’s mission is built around “the core belief that gratitude changes mindsets, reduces violence, and improves everything” according to the Look for the Good website. “The idea is that these efforts will teach students how to ‘look for the good, and appreciate the world around them, from the people, to the experiences to the beauty and beyond,” Brouse said. “The underlying effort is to teach and promote strategies that strengthen mental health and encourage a climate of caring, compassion, and support for one another.” Fifth-graders wrote applications to be included in the group of 20 who were chosen to lead the program, which has been in the planning stages since December. The student leaders took the stage Tuesday, and performed a series of skits to inform the rest of the community about the gratitude-based project. “I wonder if there is a way our whole school can learn about the importance of gratitude?”

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Angealicia Chavez said. “I have a feeling all these people sitting on stage around us might have an idea … ” said Emma Sack. “Yes, it’s time to learn about our school-wide gratitude campaign that’s going to start next week called ‘Look for the Good,’” said Kieran Hunt. As part of the presentation, the audience viewed a video of a humpback whale that inspired the project. The whale had become entangled in 1,200 pounds of crab trap ropes and had a 3,000 pound anchor attached to its tail. When the 50-foot whale was freed by a group of four trained divers, she nuzzled them, seemingly showing gratitude. Students leaders told the audience that the whale needed a hero to get away from the crab traps, and heroes can also help get that “crabby voice” out of your head before it leads to negative words and actions. “A hero is someone who Helps Everyone Respect Others. This is why anyone can be a hero. Even a bully, because bullies are people, too. And if we’re really honest, we’re all bullies sometimes, even if we’re just bullying ourselves,” a student leader said. During the two-week program, the morning announcements will ask students to think about ways they can be grateful, write them down, and stick them to “gratitude walls” throughout the school. “You’re on the Spot” spots will be placed throughout the school and anyone who steps on one is asked to stop and think about what they are grateful for. Students leaders will also pass out “Kindness Cards” which say “You Matter” to anyone they see performing an act of kindness. Those who receive the cards will pay it forward by passing them to others. In a series of skits, the students demonstrated some of the situations which could lead to receiving a card, like picking up books another student dropped, helping clean up a spill in the cafeteria, or helping a students who is frustrated with a task. “If you receive a card when we start the project, ask the person why they gave it to you, and then

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start looking for great reasons to pass it on,” Megan Miller told the audience. “You never know who might have one, so keep being your best so others can see the good in you.” In the second week of the program, all of the students will pick a person in their life who “matters,” and write them a letter telling them why. The students leaders will each be assigned a classroom and work on the letters together with the teacher. The student leaders told the audience that gratitude makes you kind and generous, and helps you become a “hero in your school.” “Don’t forget – you all matter!” they said in unison. Families are being invited to participate as well. Brouse sent a letter home telling them that when they are in the building, they can also stop on the gratitude spots in the hallways, or write a gratitude on a sticky note and add it to one of the walls. “If a kindness card makes its way home by accident, you can applaud the kindness of your child and remind your child to take it back to school the next day and pass it on,” she wrote. And family members can also write a “You Matter” letter. She encouraged parents to ask their children what they have learned about gratitude. “Our goal is always to teach kids that you have to look out for others, look for the good,” Brouse said after the assembly. “Teaching them to take care of people will help make them into contributing citizens. Social/emotional learning is critical.” In addition to learning about “Looking for the Good,” the Bugbee students cheered for the start of “Reading Spirit Week,” which will culminate Friday with students dressing up as their favorite book character. Fifth-grader Jacob Dillon, who served as emcee, led the students in reciting the Bugbee Promise and all sang the school song. Brouse also recognized “Bugbee Champions” for exhibiting positive character traits like perseverance, leadership, and friendship.

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SUPPORTING AT-RISK YOUTH The “Look for the Good Hero” Award In addition to the two-week school-wide program, we offer an annual gift of $1,000 to support an elementary school student showing remarkable resilience. The Look for the Good Hero Award was created in memory of Margaret Worthen, who died after a nine year battle recovering from a severe brain stem stroke. Locked in her body and unable to move or talk, she managed to say seven words in the nine year period, including the words, “Thank you.” 100% of the proceeds from our book, Together We Rise, go to this fund.

2017 HERO: MARCUS SANCHEZ (AGE 9)

2016 HERO: MIKE CICARELLA (AGE 11)

2016 SPECIAL DONOR: ZOE SCHWAB (AGE 11)

2015 HERO: GABBY MATTEIS (AGE 12)

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Our First Look for the Good Hero, Gabby Matteis, Shares Her Story: “At five o’clock in the morning, something went off in my head. I didn’t know what it was until I came downstairs and I said, “Dad, are we allowed to get out of bed yet?” His girlfriend then came downstairs and said, “Go upstairs, you can’t be down here right now.” So she went upstairs and comforted us until the police arrived. They blindfolded us as we left the house and took us away to the hospital. My mom told us that my dad passed away. I didn’t believe it at first but when she started crying, I knew it was true. Then I started getting curious and looking into it more. When I walked into the kitchen, it had been dark and I couldn’t see anything. But then I saw something on the counter and a body lying there with stuff all around it. At first, my mom wanted to keep things safe and just told us, “He drank too much and fell.” But then when I was ready, I heard that he committed suicide from depression. This is why I’m raising money for suicide prevention. People believe that there’s a cure and I don’t want anyone else to have the same loss that I had. The sad thing is that my Dad died and that he would do something like this. But now I know what to do when I grow up so that I don’t have the same fate: I wouldn’t drink; I wouldn’t get too carried away and hold weapons in the house; And I’d also get a good job and stick with that job. What I’m learning is just because it feels like nothing’s left, you still have a life ahead of you to meet new people. You just need to stay strong.” 29

Gabby with her social worker Cindy Sultini, who originally suggested we honor Gabby. Since receiving this award, we have helped Gabby share her message in front of 6500 kids at the XL Center in Hartford, CT, a Leadership Conference at the Connecticut Association of Schools, in front of her Town Hall with the Mayor and Police Chief present, and on live television through NBC CT.


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IMPACT “We completed our Look For the Good Campaign and it was so successful that approximately 20 staff members spoke on behalf of the program at our Board of Education meeting. It made a huge positive impact on our staff and the students. Our students benefited tremendously in how we are speaking to one another and sharing moments of gratitude.� - Kristin Bernier, Thomaston Center School, CT 31


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PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS January 2016 - June 2019 (not a complete list) Adams Elementary School

Church Street School **

Franklin Elementary School

Adams Middle School

Clintonville School

Franklin Township School **

Alcott School

Colonial Trail **

Frisbie Elementary School

Alexander Hamilton School

Columbia Grammar & Prep

Gallup Hill School

Alta Vista Elementary School

Cooke School

Garfield Elementary School

Amity Middle School

Crafton Elementary School

Geiger Elementary **

Ana Grace School

CREC Aerospace

Gibbsboro School

Ann Antolini School

Creech School **

Gideon Welles School

Baldwin Middle School

Chamberlain Primary School

Gifft Hill School **

Barkhamstead School

Frank J. DiLoreto School

Gilbert Elementary School

Bear Creek School **

Gaffney Elemetary School

Glastonbury East Hartford

Beech Hill Elementary

Holmes Elementary School

Glen Rose Intermediate **

Bellview Elementary

Lincoln Elementary School

Glenside Elementary School **

Bethany Community School

Northend Elementary School

Green Acres Elementary School

Black Rock School

Smalley Academy

Green Acres School

Blueberry Hill School

Smith Elementary School

Greenbrier Elementary School

Bodkin School

Jefferson Elementary School

Griswold School

Botelle School

Vance Village School

Guilford Before and After Care

Brennan Rogers School **

Deep River Elementary School

Guilford High School

Brooker Creek Elememtary

Dodd Middle School

Guilford Lakes School

Brooklyn School

Doolittle Elementary School

Gwyned Mercy Academy

Bryant School

Downing Elementary School **

Hanover Elementary School

Bugbee School

Dr. Charles E Murphy School

Hebron Avenue School

Burris Laboratory School **

Duffy School

High Horizons Magnet **

Buttonball Lane School

Dunbar Hill School

Highland Elementary School

C. L. Milton Elementary

East School

Hill Elementary

Calf Pen Meadow School

EC Stevens School

Hollywood Hill Elementary

Cascade Locks School **

Edgemont Elementary School

Hoover Elementary School

Cedar Valley School

Emerson School

CREC International Magnet

Central Avenue School

Emerson-Williams Elementary

School for Global Citizenship

Central Elementary

Eric G. Norfeldt School

Indian Hill School

Central Elementary School

Essex Elementary School

Irving School

Central School

Estes Hills Elementary **

Island Avenue School

Charles Wright Elementary

Forest Ridge Elementary School

Israel Putnam Elementary **

Chatham Elementary School

Four Seasons School

Jefferson Elementary School

Chester Elementary School

Frank T Wheeler School

John B. Sliney School

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John F Kennedy School

North Street School

Southwest School

Juliet Long Elementary School

Norton Elementary School

Spring Glen School

Killingly Central School

Oak Ridge School

Springdale School

Killingly Memorial School

Oakdale Elementary

Stott Elementary School **

Kingfield Elementary School

Okolona Elementary

Sunnyside Elementary

Klein Elementary School

Orange Avenue School

Sunset Lake Elementary

Knights Ferry School **

Pasadena Elementary School

Thomaston Center School

Korn School

Pell School

Tisko Elementary School

Kyrene de los Ninos School

Phantom Lake School

Tom Bean Elementary **

Laurel Ledge Elementary

Pittsfield Elementary School

Tootin’ Hills School

Lawrence Elementary

Pocomoke Elementary **

Torringford Elementary School

Lemm Elementary **

Poinsettia Elementary **

UCP East/Bailes School **

Lenox Elementary **

Pond Hill School

Van Buren Moody School

Lillie B. Haynes School

Prendergast Elementary

Ventnor Elementary School **

Lincoln Elementary **

Pride Elementary **

Veteran’s Park Elementary

Lincoln Elementary

Prospect Elementary School

Vogel-Wetmore School

Lincoln Heights Magnet

PS 354 of Queens **

Waddell School **

Live Oaks Elementary

PS108 **

Wakelee Elementary School

Long Meadow Elementary

Quaker Farms School

Warren School

Louis Toffolon School

R D Seymour School

Washington Elementary School

Ludlow-Taylor School

Reeds Spring School

Wegienka Elementary

Lyme School

Ridge Hill School

West Broad Street School

Lyme-Old Lyme School

Rio Vista Elementary School

West Deptford Middle School

Lynn Road School

Riverside Elementary **

West Terace Elementary **

Maple Shade Elementary

Rock Hill Elementary School

Wharton Dual Language

Martin School

Roger E. Sides Elementary

Academy **

Mary T Murphy School

Roger Sherman Elementary

Wieland Elementary **

Mason Central Elementary

Rogers Lane Elementary

Wilcoxson School

Melissa Jones School

Rushmore Avenue School

Wilson Elementary School

Mesa View Elemetnary

Salamonie School

Winchester School

Mile Creek School

Salem Elementary School

Windermere School

Mill Hill School

Salisbury Community School **

Wolcott High School

Mohegan School

Seven Bar Elementary

Yates Mill School **

Monarch Global Academy **

Sierra Vista Elementary

Mountain View Elementary

Sixth Grade Academy

Murphy Elementary School **

Skinner Road School **

Nayaug School

Snow Elementary School

New Britain School District

South Athens Elementary **

NOTE: Schools with ** were

New Emerson STEAM School

South Shore Elementary School

fully or partially sponsored.

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STUDENT IMPACT Messages of Gratitude

Students Served 67,678

2016

160,776

2017

970,431

2018

744,458

TOTAL

46,211

1,875,665

Number of States

7,656

2016

2 States

2017

11 States

2018

30 States

TOTAL

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REPORTS In the last three years, 2,600 students from 25 schools have opted to take an anonymous survey on the last day of the program. These students are in 4th, 5th, or 6th grade and have chosen to take the survey entirely on their own through a Google form. From these self-reports, we have learned that 71% of students think that the program has reduced bullying in the school, 76% think that the program has increased kindness in the school, and 92% agree that they would recommend the program to other schools. As these children (and their parents) recommend the program to other schools, Look for the Good Project has expanded rapidly. In 2016, we were in 2 states (serving 7,656 students); In 2017, we expanded into 11 states (serving 46,211 students); And in 2018, we were in 30 states (serving 67,678 students).

71%

OF STUDENTS THINK THE PROGRAM REDUCED BULLYING

76%

OF STUDENTS THINK THE PROGRAM INCREASED KINDNESS

“ This campaign cut our discipline

referrals in half and they have not been as high since before we started this program.� Rachel Gabrielson Prendergast School, CT

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92% OF STUDENTS RECOMMEND THE PROGRAM


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HELPING A SCHOOL COMMUNITY REBOUND AFTER A NATURAL DISASTER “I am the school counselor at Gifft Hill School on St. John. As I’m sure you’re aware, we were devastated by two category hurricanes this September. This program has been so meaningful to our school and our students in a time when many go ‘without.’ Focusing on gratitude for the things we have gave our students and staff the motivation and positive energy we desperately needed to rebuild our homes and school. Students were easily able to identify things they were grateful for in our post-storm world. Generators, family, hot meals, pets, a roof, friends, and life were common themes. The more we shared our gratitude with each other, the less and less we thought about what we don’t have. “Since we are still on a condensed four hour day until most of the island has power in their homes, students spend most of their day in core academics. As a school Counselor, I also teach a social and emotional learning class we call ‘mindfulness.’ I decided it made the most sense to work on the Look for the Good Project when I had students for 30 minutes of Mindfulness each week, with the addition of teachers helping students with notes for the gratitude wall on ‘Gratitude Fridays.’ “Week one was themed ‘Why Gratitude?’ I told the story of the whale to students and explained the Gratitude Wall was part of the project that we had already begun. Next came the Gratitude Spots (which teachers selected a few students from each class to come with me to pick a spot). Then, the You Matter cards. We also began on our gratitude books which I had created on a computer myself, since I knew any ordered books would not come in time for us to complete the project before Thanksgiving. “Week two was themed ‘Hero vs Crab.’ We passed the inflatable crab around while we described times that we’ve been caught in the crab trap. We are still using this analogy for our off days in school. It’s been great for the teachers too on their off days. They tell students ‘I’m in the crab trap today so I need everyone to really try

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their best.’ Instead of having feelings of frustration (from having a broken generator, or limited WiFi, etc) that create conflict, we find ourselves surrounded with positive words and You Matter cards. It’s been a great way to turn a bad day around. Our second grade class also created a skit which they performed to the whole school to show how to talk to someone in the crab trap. “Week three was themed ‘Be the hero!’ We discussed the things we’re grateful for and the effects of the you matter cards, gratitude wall, and gratitude spots. We also completed our gratitude books and handed them out to our friends, families, teachers. “Overall, the Look for the Good Project was exactly what our school needed after hurricanes Irma and Maria. Focusing on gratitude gave us the mindset to keep going at a time when we all could have fallen behind or given up. We came together in love and appreciation for one another in a way that was incredibly valuable to our school’s moral and climate. “I look forward to a hurricane-free start to our next school year where we can begin the year with the Look for the Good Project. The teachers are excited to have gratitude themed projects and activities to go along with the Look for the Good Project and start our school year with a strong, positive school climate.”

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Gifft Hill School St. John, USVI

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FEEDBACK Teachers and students share their thoughts...

This program has done such great things for so many of my students. I was right there with my students writing down something I was grateful for everyday and it made me feel so good. I was visiting my sister-in-law who is also a teacher and I told her, “You have to look up this project. It is amazing! Maybe this will work with your school district.” I could just tell that my students were relaxed by doing the exercises. I think the school program is a good bullying prevention because it makes the kids reflect and think more positive thoughts. If they’re thinking about what they’re grateful for, they’re not thinking about negative behavior or something that could start a bullying situation. - Mrs. Plant

I think gratitude helps kids be more kind because they’re not saying stuff like, “Oh you don’t look nice today.” They’re just accepting people for who they are. Like at recess, I didn’t see kids sitting by themselves anymore. I would recommend this project to other kids because it makes your school feel like a kinder place and you want to come back because you know you’re not going to be bullied. My friends kept asking me, “Hey, what’s this project?” I would tell them and then they would tell other people and it would spread around. This made me feel good because I was one of the people who started it. I’m grateful for my uncle because he survived brain cancer and I get to see him a lot. - Courtney

“This program has done wonders for positive behavior and really turning our school around.”

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Sixth graders, fifth graders, and fourth graders were all working together seamlessly to create the Gratitude Wall. Some of the things the kids shared brought people to tears. One little boy said he was grateful for his sister because she had cancer but she lived. Another little boy said he was grateful for warm clothing because he noticed that some homeless people didn’t have warm coats. It was so profound and it shows that children are so much more capable than we give them credit for. Every child should be able to practice gratitude. After participating in the

Look for the Good Project, the kids are now thinking twice about what they say and how they treat others because they’d rather be kind. This program helps children develop self-esteem, self-awareness, and leadership skills. It makes them more aware of their actions and how they affect others. - Mrs. Guerin

“I thank the Look for the Good Project for helping me be more aware of my own gratitude.”

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ENDORSEMENTS “This was by far the most successful school climate initiative I have ever introduced to my building. I have never had such positive feedback from parents, students and staff members. It gave my student leaders a chance to work together to plan and then to see their plan successfully put into action. The Look for the Good project sets a tone of understanding, tolerance, and acceptance for our children, and gives them the opportunity to set an example for the adults in their community.” - Melissa Swanson Wilcoxson Elementary School, CT “Even after the Gratitude Spots were removed from the floors, I still stopped with children at the spaces to verbally identify why I was grateful for them being at Mt. View. With the Look for the Good Project, we were able to promote our overall “You Matter” mission. The school’s Leadership Team is currently reviewing and revising our mission and how we can bring the YOU MATTER idea into every setting at school: classrooms, playground, community, school bus. The Look for the Good Project will be a huge support to that mission.” - Lisa Krause, Mountain View Elementary School, OR

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ABOVE: Look for the Good Founder, Anne Kubitsky, with Dr. Karissa Niehoff (left), Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and Dr. Dianna Wentzell (right), Connecticut Commissioner of Education, at a Back to School Event featuring Look for the Good Project. BELOW: Anne Kubitsky talking about Look for the Good Project on MSNBC.

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A REFLECTION BY ADRIANNE ROBINSON, MOTHER OF A SEVEN YEAR OLD STUDENT He bounded off the bus with his backpack bouncing behind him. As I knelt down to hug him, he barreled towards me almost knocking me over. His one-handed hug was tight as the other was still nestled in his pocket clenching whatever treasure he had found. Then he stepped back and said, “I have something for you!” Our eyes were level with each other, but his eyes seemed to sparkle with some sort of mysterious pride. He stepped back and quickly pulled his hand from his pocket and then put it behind his back. “I got this for you momma, it’s a You Matter card…we’re supposed to Look for the Good in people… and you’re the goodest thing I know.” I could feel my heart melting as quickly as the water filled my eyes. I will never forget those words or the way he beamed when I looked at the card and read the back. The biggest hug I could give and a million kisses couldn’t even compare to the way I felt in that moment. I mattered to him. How is it possible that a little card given by such a little person could have the biggest impact on not only my day…but my life? So many times, I get lost in the millions of little things on my list that I have mistaken for things that matter. This seven-year old little boy quickly showed me what really mattered. I mattered. He mattered. That moment mattered. I’m grateful that his school recognized the importance of reminding children they matter. I’m grateful he spends his time not only looking for answers to the questions the teachers pose, but he spends his day looking for the good…and encouraging others to do the same. I don’t know if he will remember the math facts he learned that morning or the new words that leaped from the pages of the books he read that day. I do hope he will remember the moment he gave me that card. I hope he remembers my reaction or how it made me feel from the inside out. I hope he knows that I too will “Look for the Good,” but with this little boy, I won’t have to look far.

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Hammonasset Beach State Park during the summer seasons of 2013 and 2014, serving 2.1 million visitors to the park, and an estimate of 50,000 direct viewers of the “Gratitude Trail� installation.

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HISTORY Look for the Good Project was originally founded by Anne Kubitsky as a public art project. In 2011, she left 500 invitation postcards around Connecticut asking people to share a “glimmer of gladness” and mail it back to her. To her surprise, people did. From 2011 - 2015, over 22,000 people shared their gratitude with Anne which led to the creation of 100+ art installations and the book, What Makes You Grateful: Voices From Around the World. In 2014, Anne incorporated the Look for the Good Project into a 501C3 nonprofit to specifically serve schools; and launched the two week school program in 2016. Since then, 121,545 students in 30 states have written almost 2 million messages of gratitude to uplift their communities!

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TIMELINE FALL 2013

OCTOBER 2011

Inspired by a whale rescue and struggling with her own #MeToo story, Anne Kubitsky leaves 500 invitations around Connecticut asking people to mail her a “glimmer of gladness” on a postcard.

Anne publishes, What Makes You Grateful: Voices From Around the World, to showcase her favorite postcard messages. The book is featured on MSNBC, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest & Good Housekeeping Magazine. By this point, Anne has hosted over 100 speeches, exhibits, and events to share her message.

FALL 2014

Anne launches her “You Matter” campaign to build awareness for the organization; Philosophy Cosmetics invites Anne to keynote their national sales conference in Maya Riviera, Mexico; W by Worth, a national luxury fashion brand, asks Anne to design a “Look for the Good” silk scarf to raise awareness for her organization.

INCORPORATED IN THE SUMMER OF 2014 SPRING 2013 2012

So many postcards arrive that Anne hosts her first exhibit in two gallery spaces in New London, CT and starts a weekly newspaper column in the Shoreline Times to share the postcard messages. The column lasts for the next 3 years.

Anne builds a “Gratitude Trail” at Hammonasset, the largest state beach in CT, serving 2.1 million people. The trail is paid for by Anne and local sponors to showcase Anne’s favorite postcards. The trail is very popular among visitors.

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Due to an oversight issue through the CT DEEP, Anne is publicly pressured to incorporate the Look for the Good Project into a 501C3 charity in order re-install her Gratitude Trail at Hammonasset. With the help of a CT state senator and a pro bono lawyer, she incorporates the organization in time to get the Gratitude Trail up for another summer season.


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PROGRAM REPORTING IN THIS BOOKLET STARTS HERE > >

2018

2016

Anne launches the first two-week Gratitude Campaign program at Doolittle Elementary School. She pilots the leadership program at 18 schools and receives funds from The Gallogly Family Foundation to develop an online training platform to scale the program.

The school program expands into 150 schools in 30 states. Realizing she has reached capacity for one employee, Anne begins to fundraise to expand her operating budget and develop new partners including OPEN PhysEd, a public service of US Games.

The program is endorsed by the CT Association of Schools and the CT Commissioner of Education.

2015

Anne is awarded “The Point of Light Award” from President George H.W. Bush for her volunteerism; The Mayor of Hartford, CT officially declares a “Look for the Good Day” in the city of Hartford. Connecticut’s 16th State Troubadour honors Anne by creating an original “Look for the Good” song. By this point, 22,000 people have participated in Anne’s public art project including actor James Franco and French chef Jacques Pépin.

2017

Through word-of-mouth, the school program scales into 100 schools in 11 states. An office is set up at the Connecticut Association of Schools as well as in Cary, North Carolina. The Wake County PTA Council endorses the program by sponsoring four schools in Raleigh, NC.

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TRUE STORY In December of 2005, a 50-foot female humpback whale was entangled in 1,200 lbs of crab trap lines off the coast of California. A 3,000 pound anchor hung off her tail, and she was quickly drowning. Despite the danger of the situation (one slap from a whale this size can kill you), four trained rescue divers got in the water to cut the ropes free. As they cautiously approached the whale, she stopped struggling and started to help them. She carefully brought her tail up to one of the divers as he tried to untangle the ropes; and even opened her mouth, allowing one of the divers to reach in and grab the lines. Once the whale was free, she swam up to each diver and nuzzled him in the chest. She then circled all four divers, breaching, and swimming in figure eights. Although Look for the Good Founder, Anne Kubitsky, was not present at this rescue, she is trained in marine biology and had been working in marine research at the time. She was so inspired by the story that she stopped what she was doing to learn to paint so she could retell this story in a children’s book called Gracie’s Catch. Even though she never got to publish her original manuscript (she eventually did publish part of it in a book called Opening to Good), the story itself is what inspired her to turn her attention to gratitude. Here’s what she did: On October 13, 2011, she gave up trying to get Gracie’s Catch published and left 500 invitation postcards in bicycle baskets, park benches, pumpkin patches, and library books asking people to share a “glimmer of gladness” on the postcard and to mail it back to her. She didn’t think anyone would write back, but it made her more grateful just leaving these around. Within a week, people started writing back. Not just on the invitations that she left in Connecticut, but on their own materials too. Water52


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color paper, cardboard, photographs, glass, clay, wood, metal, fabric, coconuts, flip-flops... creativity flooded her PO Box from all over the country. As word spread, she began getting invitations to share the cards in the newspaper, on the radio, and even on TV. In the first three years, 22,000 people shared their gratitude with Anne from all over the world. The project was featured in Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping Magazine and HuffPost as well as on MSNBC, NBC-CT, and FOX-CT. She hosted over a hundred exhibits to showcase the postcard art, including a highly visible public installation at the largest state beach in Connecticut. By 2014, so many kids were asking Anne to visit their schools that she incorporated the Look for the Good Project into a 501C3 nonprofit organization to specifically serve children. And by 2015, W by Worth Clothing Line was helping her raise money for the first round of school programs. Anne writes: “When I started this project, I felt trapped and entangled in my own emotional baggage, kind of like this whale. This is why all these people sending me postcards meant so much to me. Each day, each grateful message that arrived in my PO Box was like a little spark of purpose... a little joy that reminded me that I mattered. Now that I am feeling more grounded, I am giving back by empowering kids to experience this in their own lives. I can’t think of anything more rewarding!”

In 2015, W by Worth Clothing Line launched a “Look for the Good Scarf ” to help Anne raise funds for our school program. She designed the scarf using artwork from the community and is seen here modeling the scarf. 53


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FINANCES 55


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BUSINESS MODEL We Built a Self-Sustaining Business Model ( $ in 000)

Organic Program Revenue Grants/Donations Royalty Revenue

$13 $13 $33 $33

$3 $46 $59 $55

$22 $17 $19 $6

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NOT DEPENDENT ON DONATIONS • Grants and donations feed our program development • Program participants drive program sales at other schools through enthusiastic reviews • Organic revenue has tripled each year until 2018, when we reached our fulfillment capacity

PROGRAM SALES DRIVE ROYALTIES • • • •

Enthusiastic word-of-mouth drives 90% of new program sales Program sales recur because we are trademarked and the program license must be renewed Royalties are 100% profit and empower us to subsidize low-income schools Royalties also recur because kids are growing and schools want the latest t-shirt

SCALABLE WITH LOW OVERHEAD • Our program fees are inexpensive (averaging 13¢ per student/day) • By maintaining a 78% margin on Gratitude Campaign Kits and a low overhead of one full-time employee, we are able to use program fees to finance our operating budget • The program is scalable because it needs little customer support and no on-site visits to be 100% successful! Our online platform does 90% of the work!

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DONORS SUBSIDIZE SCHOOLS • When schools can’t afford the small fee, they fill out an application which we then present to local businesses and individual donors. Because of the low cost of the program (and the big impact it makes on the school), we have found that people are more than happy to cover costs by making a tax deductible donation to the organization.

MEET DONOR LUCY MITCHELL After learning about the Look for the Good Project in kindergarten, Lucy started completing acts of kindness in her community. Now in fourth grade, she has started her own recycling club at her school, picked up hundreds of pounds of trash, volunteered at animal shelters, handed out cloth bags at the grocery store, and raised enough money to sponsor a Gratitude Campaign program at Pitkin Elementary School in East Hartford, Connecticut. This means that her efforts alone will be providing 344 low-income students 10 full days of Look for the Good programming!

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Lucy during the 2017 Women’s March

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SPONSORED SCHOOLS During the 2018 - 2019 School Year

Thanks to the generosity of The Gallogly Family Foundation and a number of generous individuals like Lucy Mitchell (age 8), we were able to support the following schools by covering partial or complete program fees for the 2018 - 2019 school year. BEAR CREEK SCHOOL, Houston, TX, 654 Students “It was amazing! Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate!!! We have already seen increases in the amounts of kindness being shared around the campus!” GEIGER ELEMENTARY, Ridgeway, SC, 297 Students “A student leader had the idea to make You Matter cards to pass out at our local Christmas parade. I love the fact that they wanted to take the project into our community.” FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP ELEMENTARY, Cashtown, PA, 375 Students “Our kick-off assembly was terrific and the kids were amazing!! We made the front page of the Gettysburg Times and we also had a local news station come and do an interview with some of our student leaders.” SUNNYSIDE ELEMENTARY, Shelton, CT, 251 Students “The philosophy behind the Look for the Good Project has become part of our culture at Sunnyside. For the last three years we have seen first-hand the positive impact on student achievement increasing and student discipline decreasing.” POINSETTIA ELEMENTARY, Ventura, CA, 485 Students “We are so grateful to Central Avenue School and Madison Public Schools for helping the Look for the Good Project fund our program! Today I watched a mom jump on the gratitude spot after her child to say she was thankful for him, it was an incredible moment!” WEST TERRACE ELEMENTARY, Evansville, IN, 700 Students “Students are really coming out of their shell and stepping out of their comfort zone. I’m also noticing them going out of their way to do extra little acts of kindness throughout the day.”

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UCP EAST/BAILES CHARTER SCHOOL, Orlando, FL, 350 Students “We have 50% students with disabilities and 50% students without disabilities. This program was used across all students and would give the children the opportunities to recognize the strengths in each student.” MONARCH GLOBAL ACADEMY, Laurel, MD, 835 Students “We loved how Look for the Good helped everyone in our building to focus on what they’re grateful for!” LENOX & LINCOLN SCHOOLS, Pompton Lakes, NJ, 682 Students “My student leaders for the project are a group of 5th graders who I call my ‘Cardinal Flight Team.’ They run activities throughout the year to promote positive character traits - so your project was PERFECT for them. They are currently spending two days a week rehearsing for our kickoff assembly during recess. They also each have an assigned morning announcement to read and have assigned days to visit classes to pick up their sticky notes to add to the gratitude wall.” TOM BEAN ELEMENTARY, Tom Bean, TX, 280 Students “It was wonderful. We have taken the Gratitude Wall down now... but we are thinking of away to do another one...maybe around Valentine’s day!” BURRIS LABORATORY SCHOOL, Muncie, IN, 621 Students “We are intentionally working with our middle school students to promote kindness. The practical application of showing gratitude to others will reinforce our social/emotional curriculum.” C. L. MILTON ELEMENTARY, Laredo, TX, 895 Students “Our school lies on a border town between Mexico and the U.S. Some of the difficulties our students face is due to their

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families’ economic situations that affect their social, emotional and physical needs. Our students need a safe haven where they feel wanted, appreciated and validated... thank you.” CHATHAM ELEMENTARY, Chatham, MA. 277 Students “We have done this campaign for the last two years. The data we have received has been remarkable for such a simple, straight forward learning experience.” POCOMOKE ELEMENTARY, Pocomoke City, MD, 400 Students “Students continue to verbally share their gratitude this week following our two week campaign!!!! Today, our school hosted a Parent/Child Learning Party for our Early Childhood students and families and we shared our school’s participation in the ‘Look for the Good Program’ to further support our youngest learners! The kit that we received was amazingly thorough and we appreciate continued emails and opportunities to learn more about this wonderful program!” Colonial Trail School, Glen Allen, Va, 705 Students Roger E. Sides Elementary, Karnes City, Tx, 325 Students Glen Rose Intermediate, Glen Rose, Tx, 420 Students Knights Ferry School, Knights Ferry, Ca, 150 Students Gilbert Elementary, Garden Grove, Ca, 500 Students New Emerson Steam School, Grand Junction, Co, 150 Students South Athens Elementary, Athens, Tx, 500 Students Stott Elementary School, Arvada, Co, 250 Students Riverside Elementary School, Jefferson, In, 495 Students Skinner Road School, Vernon, Ct, 350 Students Wieland School, Pflugerville, Tx, 440 Students Israel Putnam School, Meriden, Ct, 511 Students Ventnor School, Ventnor, NJ, 400 Students High Horizons Magnet School, Bridgeport, Ct, 414 Students Wharton Dual Language School, Houston, Tx, 491 Students Pride Elementary, Madison, Ky, 502 Students

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS PAUL TOENJES, CHAIR CEO, Semita Health ANNE KUBITSKY, PRESIDENT Founder & CEO, Look for the Good Project (The only full-time employee of the organization) DAVID LUTIAN, TREASURER Consultant, ACS Groups KELLY CHAPMAN, SECRETARY Former Director of Membership Services, Girl Scouts of Connecticut DAVE MALONEY Former Director of Student Activities CT Association of Schools

ADVISORS KARISSA NIEHOFF Executive Director National Federation of High Schools

BARBARA FREDRICKSON Director, PEP Lab

LARRY KOFFLER EVP, BCW Global

GIACOMO BONO Director Youth Gratitude Project

CINDY SULTINI Social Worker Wallingford Board of Education

LAUREN ROBINSON Manager of Public Funding & Grants, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

CARLY STRIFE COO & Co-Founder BarkBox

MATT KUBITSKY Co-founder CEO CyberChrome & CyberResearch

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Look for the Good Project is based at the Connecticut Association of Schools. We have an additional office in Cary, NC. CONTACT: 30 Realty Drive Cheshire, CT 06410 1218 Essex Forest Drive Cary, NC 27518

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DONATE TODAY!

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Board Member, Dave Lutian, volunteering his time to pack Gratitude Campaign Kits at the CT Association of Schools

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THE NEED We are running this entire organization with only one employee. We need a staff! The wonderful problem we face is the high demand for our program. It’s amazing that we have been able to serve as many schools as we have with just one employee and a handful of volunteers, but we cannot sustainably grow without a larger staff. With 89,000 elementary schools in the US, there is tremendous potential for our organization and we are excited to expand. An operating budget of $350,000 would allow us to hire an adequate support staff and remove the bottlenecks associated with a single employee maintaining all customer service, program development, donor relations, and product fulfillment. Since we cannot use debt- or equity-financing in the same way a for-profit company might to cover start-up costs, your donation is crucial to our success. Whatever amount your choose to donate, THANK YOU!!

Pictured: Anne Kubitsky, our only fulltime employee at the moment.

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DONATION LEVELS We need to raise an operating budget of $350,000 to grow Founder’s Circle $25,000

Founder, Anne Kubitsky, supported this organization for 3 years before it was incorporated. Join her by investing in our effort and becoming a Founding Donor! • You will be named on fifty (50) schools during the 2020- 2021 school year and identified on our website. • This empowers us to hire 1 part-time employee for a year, or 1 full-time employee for 6 months.

Hero $10,000

Help everyone respect others by becoming a Hero! • You will be named on twelve (12) schools during the 2020- 2021 school year and identified on our website. • This covers our operating costs to provide Look for the Good programming to an entire school district.

Leader $1,500

Dare to inspire by becoming a Leader. • You will be named on three (3) schools during the 2020- 2021 school year and identified on our website. • This covers our operating costs to provide Look for the Good programming to three schools.

Friend $500

Will you be our Friend? • You will be named on one (1) school during the 20202021 school year and identified on our website. • This covers our operating costs to provide Look for the Good programming to one school.

CONTACT: info@lookforthegood.org We are a 501C3 organization. All donations are tax deductible.

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An 8 year old just gave this much!


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

www.lookforthegoodproject.org

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Profile for lookforthegood

Look for the Good Project: Making America Kind, One School at a Time  

Learn more about the Look for the Good Project in our 2019 Prospectus!

Look for the Good Project: Making America Kind, One School at a Time  

Learn more about the Look for the Good Project in our 2019 Prospectus!

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