Organizational Overview

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Since March 2020, we have updated our mission, reorganized our Board, and expanded our programming to better serve school communities. This booklet summarizes these changes and presents the scientific rationale behind these changes (largely cited from white papers posted through the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University). OUR NEW MISSION We seek to improve the lives of children by providing access to Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) programming that develops healthy self-esteem. OUR NEW, ALL-FEMALE BOARD Anne Kubitsky, Founder, CEO & President (since 2014) Tess Morrison, Board Chair (since 2020) Anne Horton, Board Treasurer (since 2018) Kelly Chapman, Board Secretary (since 2016) NEW OR REVISED PROGRAMMING 1. School-Wide Look for the Good® Campaign 2. Wiggle Warrior® Tools for Educators & Families




Rationale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Key Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Track Record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80



Trauma decontextualized in a person looks like personality. Trauma decontextualized in a family looks like family traits. Trauma in a people looks like culture. - Resmaa Menakem

It's time to heal.





RATIONALE We are Living in Traumatic Times. In the last few years, the United States has experienced a series of traumatic events that have eroded the social trust needed for camaraderie, teamwork, and recovery. Medical emergencies from the pandemic were compounded by stressors including unemployment, isolation, and school closures. In addition to this, Americans experienced widespread power outages and gas shortages; mass shootings; ongoing racial and gender-based discrimination and injustices; record-breaking wildfires and other extreme weather events; and, unprecedented political tension and upheaval which continues to this day. The COVID vaccine rollout became highly politicized, fissuring families and polarizing communities. Medical staff across the country are facing burnout after treating waves of patients in overloaded hospitals. Teachers are facing similar levels of burnout. With so much trauma and uncertainty, many people have become angry overwhelmed, or have settled into a state of languishing. Languishing is a longlasting sense of aimlessness and low mood which, if not addressed, can lead to depression. What is Trauma? Trauma is any event or experience (short or long-term) that overwhelms the nervous system so completely that the body's systems become dysregulated and cannot successfully respond. How Does Trauma Impact a Child’s Wellbeing? Excessive activation of the nervous system impacts the brain and other organ systems in many ways. An overactive nervous system 8


prepares the body for action by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and stress hormones such as cortisol. Toxic Stress can result if a child's stress is extreme or long-lasting and calm adults are not available to help the child reset. Toxic stress can trigger a cascade of symptoms, including: difficulty eating or sleeping, increased anxiety, paranoia, aggression, and hyperactivity. It can also disrupt a child’s brain development which can negatively impact the child for a lifetime.


Please see the ACE Study for more information: 9


What are Core Life Skills? According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, core life skills are key capabilities that adults use to effectively manage life, work, and parenting. These capabilities are developed in childhood and strengthened through adulthood. They are controlled by a balance of two kinds of mechanisms: Automatic Self-Regulation and Intentional SelfRegulation. Automatic Self-Regulation: These are fast, unconscious, knee-jerk impulses that help a person protect themself and stay safe. These reactions happen without conscious thought because they normally need to occur quickly in order to be effective. Intentional Self-Regulation: These are conscious decisions to set and execute a plan, and actively prohibit counterproductive or distracting reactions to situations. They are proactive and goal-oriented, relying on “executive function” to control impulses.

To ensure appropriate responsiveness and healthy functioning, both automatic and intentional self-regulation are needed. Core Life Skills Develop When There's an Appropriate Balance Between...

Intentional Self-Regulation

Automatic Self-Regulation



When these two self-regulation strategies are well-balanced, they lead to the development of five core life skills necessary for life*: Planning: The ability to set and meet goals, make plans and carry them out Focus: The ability to concentrate and prioritize tasks Self-Control: The ability to control how we respond to stressful situations Awareness: The ability to notice ourselves, other people, and situations around us Flexibility: The ability to adapt to changing situations in a constructive way Core life skills directly impact a child’s confidence level and their ability to build and maintain a healthy self-esteem. Adults who have not developed these skills in childhood are more likely to become impulsive, entitled, unethical, irresponsible, uncaring, and even narcissistic.

Toxic Stress in Childhood Frequent stress (or even neglect) will redirect the child's brain development away from intentional regulation and toward automatic regulation, creating an imbalance.

Poor Core Life Skills in Adulthood As the traumatized child grows up, stress will easily overload their underdeveloped intentional regulation skills, leaving them to rely primarily on automatic regulation skills. This will make them unpredictable and impulsive.

*This content comes from the white paper, "Building Core Capabilities for Life: The Science Behind the Skills Adults Need to Succeed in Parenting and in the Workplace" which can be found at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University



How Has the Pandemic Disrupted the Development of Core Life Skills? From the beginning of the pandemic, millions of people have been forced to quickly adapt to a variety of prolonged, uncomfortable events that have overloaded their nervous systems. When the nervous system is overloaded, the brain loses its capacity for reflective, intentional decision-making. If this occurs in childhood, when core life skills are still forming, the brain will overdevelop automatic self-regulation circuits (i.e. kneejerk “fight or flight” reactions). This makes it more physiologically difficult for children to grow into reflective adults capable of impulse control, planning, goal-setting, and emotional regulation. Given that these skills are necessary to become functional adults capable of contributing productively to society, the pandemic may have more serious consequences than we realize.

“Neglecting young children is neglecting the foundation of a healthy next generation. A community pays a huge price later… whether it be educational achievement, economic productivity, good citizenship, or the ability to parent the next generation.” - Jack P. Shonkoff, MD Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University



Can We Build or Restore Core Life Skills? Yes! Although it’s much easier to learn core life skills during childhood, it’s never too late. Our brains continue to develop well into adulthood, which means that adults can strengthen these skills, or even learn them for the very first time. Responsive Relationships Are the Key to Healing According to Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child, the single leading indicator in children who are resilient to toxic stress is the presence of at least one trusted adult who is emotionally responsive. They state: “These relationships provide the personalized responsiveness, scaffolding, and protection that buffer children from developmental disruption."* An adult who is emotionally responsive, or “attuned” to a child, will make the child feel safe, loved, understood, and free to learn and grow. Given that responsive relationships between adults and children are biologically essential, the absence of these interactions within a school context can threaten a child’s wellbeing, especially if the child doesn’t have emotionally attuned caregivers at home.

"Children don't get traumatized because they get hurt. Children get traumatized because they're alone with their hurt." - Dr. Gabor Maté *



What is Emotional Neglect? Emotional neglect is the persistent, marked inattention to a child's needs for affection, attention, and emotional support. Because emotionally attuned, responsive relationships are essential to the healthy development of a child, their absence will activate the child's stress response, disrupting brain development and leading to a lifetime of mental and physical health issues most famously outlined in the Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study.

This graph was originally reported in The Science of Neglect-The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain, posted by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. The data comes from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), and reflects the total number of victims as reported by all 50 states between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010.



Toxic Positivity is a Form of Emotional Neglect Toxic positivity is a common (but false) belief that people should only feel "positive" emotions like happiness and joy. Since "negative" emotions like anger and fear are a normal part of life, feeling only positive emotions is an impossible ideal. When this "only-be-positive" ideal is imposed on a child, it can invalidate a child's experience and prevent the child from being honest about how they are feeling. Toxic positivity may also push a child into self-imposed isolation, cutting them off from healthy adults who might otherwise have been able to help them. This is particularly damaging when the child is experiencing a stressful experience and needs support.

Toxic Positivity Can Damage Healthy Self-Esteem We define healthy self-esteem as, "the ability to identify and meet your own needs in a way that is respectful, responsible and kind - even when you are stressed." When children are taught to ignore their stress and "just be positive," they are often being encouraged to deny their reality and avoid learning skills that could help them deal with it. Instead, we hope to normalize stressful emotions so that children can learn how to accept their stress and begin to work with it. As children "befriend" their stress, they get more skilled in (1) identifying their own needs, and (2) making thoughtful choices which help them respond to these needs in a respectful and responsible way.



An Alternative to Toxic Positivity: The Growth Mindset In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a love of learning as well as resilience, especially when applied to stress. Someone with a growth mindset might say, "This emotion might be uncomfortable, but I wonder what I can learn from this. How can I use this experience to grow?"






Stress is shameful.

Stress is here to teach me.

I shouldn't have it.

I can use it to help me meet a need.

People with this mindset pretend to

People with this mindset tend to be

be positive all the time. This mindset

emotionally honest, curious and

results in low self-esteem and the

willing to grow through whatever they

presentation of a false self to appear

go through. This mindset results in

more positive and confident.

authenticity, kindness and integrity.



Growth Mindset = Becoming a "Wiggle Warrior®" To make the growth mindset more engaging, we're offering a colorful picture book series about Maya and her emotion friends. Just like Maya, a child can learn to become a Wiggle Warrior®.

WIGGLE WARRIORS... Fill Their Hearts with Sunshine Whenever they're feeling overwhelmed, Wiggle Warriors practice getting more comfortable in their bodies by wiggling and breathing. Learn From Their Stress They see their emotions as messengers and practice being curious about them, instead of critical. They ask, "I wonder why this emotion is here? What is it trying to tell me?" Make Sunshine Choices SUNSHINE CHOICE

Wiggle Warriors do their best to make choices that are respectful, responsible and kind, especially when they are feeling dysregulated. These choices are called, "Sunshine Choices" because they improve the child's self-esteem and make them feel warm in their hearts. Both automatic and intentional self-regulation skills must be used to make a Sunshine Choice, which helps the child develop important core life skills. As adults teach these skills to children, they practice making Sunshine Choices too.



When a Child is Stressed, Try to be a Safe Adult By Practicing "Serve-and-Return" Interactions Children naturally reach out for support, especially when they are experiencing stress. You can be an emotionally safe adult through these "Serve-and-Return" behaviors, adapted from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Serve-andReturn Behaviors are like a game of tennis: A child serves the "ball" with a bid for connection, and the adult returns the serve by responding appropriately. As this invisible ball goes back and forth between child and adult, trust is built, and the child feels a sense of emotional safety and connection. Step 1: Notice the Child’s Dysregulation & Interpret This as a Bid For Connection Dysregulation refers to a child's poor ability to manage stress or keep it within a manageable range. Essentially, dysregulation is what happens when the child's nervous system is overwhelmed. In general, an overwhelmed nervous system can result in four different stress responses: Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Submit. NOTICING FIGHT Sweaty & Flustered Argumentative & aggressive Controlling, demanding, inflexible Blaming others Unable to concentrate Unable to follow rules Confrontation & disrespectful Avoidant of others Shouting and noisy Annoyed, frustrated, angry, resentful, or enraged

NOTICING FLIGHT Hyperactive, manic, silly, disruptive Stiffening up, clenching jaw Running away, hiding Perfectionism Toxic positivity Jittery Compulsive Easily startled Wide-eyed Fidgety or talking fast Uncertain, anxious, afraid, panicked, or overwhelmed

*Adapted from


NOTICING FREEZE NOTICING SUBMIT Daydreaming Perfectionism Staring into space Toxic positivity Clumsy, disconnected Teacher's pet from body Overly nice and Only yes or no answers allowing other kids to Forgetful or confused bully them Lethargic or sleepy Wide-eyed, may look Constantly hungry like a deer in the Overly absorbed in headlights video games, reading Clumsy, dissociated or TV as a way to Unable to identify how avoid others they feel, especially Lonely, sad, apathetic, icky feelings since they rejected, ashamed, may be experiencing guilty, or heartbroken bullying or abuse


Step 2: Return the Child's "Serve" with Your Calm Presence Instead of ignoring or punishing the child for their emotional outburst, recognize that their behavior is simply a call for help. Children have not yet developed the brain circuitry to fully regulate their own nervous system. If they are acting out, the best thing you can do is to get calm so that they can "borrow" your regulated nervous system and co-regulate with you until they are also calm. A simple way to calm yourself is to breathe in deeply through your nose and then purse your lips to blow out as slowly as you can. Repeat this at least 3 times to regulate your own nervous system. Then, muster up as much compassion and curiosity as you can when you approach the child.

CALMING FIGHT CALMING FREEZE CALMING SUBMIT CALMING FLIGHT Stay with the child, Stay with the child, Stay with the child, Stay with the child, don't leave them don't leave them don't leave them don't leave them Help the child redirect Help the child feel Tell the child that they Help the child expel the angry energy into cuddly and warm are safe the energy with exercise or play Watch TV together Give the child space to movement, do Keep the child safe Breathe together lead, give them something familiar from hurting Climb (get arms above choices to pick Chewy foods - granola themselves head) Help the child see that bars, dried fruit Crunchy foods - carrots, Roll/cycle down a hill it's okay to make Hanging from the crackers or rice cakes Dig in the sand mistakes and not be monkey bars Hanging, swinging or Jump on a trampoline perfect Heavy blankets climbing Do chores together Embrace the child's Cup of hot chocolate Give the child a task Gently wonder where stressful emotions, to Create a safe space to that makes them feel the child has gone help them see that hide if the child needs important and invite the child anger, fear, and some privacy Make things back to the present sadness are okay too Validate the deep predictable & tell the If the child has Tell the child that they child changes before forgotten what they matter and you feelings of fear & them happen were supposed to do, appreciate them - just helping the child see Jumping jacks gently remind them for being them. Do not that you will help Running & playing Take a break for some connect your love with them face these Help the child identify hot chocolate their performance or feelings the need under the Offer the child a warm appearance Make things anger/rage bath or warm towel Weighted blanket predictable Deep breathing Deep breathing Deep breathe together Deep breathing *Adapted from



Step 3: Give it a Name Name what the child is seeing, doing, or feeling to help the child notice and name these things too. For example, you can say, “It seems like something is bothering you; you look angry, are you feeling alright? I was curious because you look angry.” When you respond to the child's aggression or emotional outburst with genuine love and support, instead of punishment, the child will begin to trust you. The more the child trusts you, the more they will let you guide them into more constructive ways to deal with their stress. Building and maintaining trust is key.























Step 4: Take Turns, and Wait. Keep the Interaction Going Back & Forth By asking questions and waiting for the child's reply, you will give them time to develop their own awareness and confidence. Waiting also gives you time to observe the child so that you can better understand their needs. By waiting for the child to reply, you will create a sense of emotional safety. Not only will this calm you down, but it will also calm the child.

Step 5: Practice Endings & Beginnings Children often signal when they are done and ready to move on. Take the time to learn their cues. When you consciously create moments for the child to lead, you help them explore their world, and make more moments of safe connection possible. Well done!




Our Goals

OUR GOALS Researchers at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University recommend that nonprofit organizations like ours offer programs which: 1. Support responsive relationships for children and adults 2. Strengthen core life skills for planning and achieving goals 3. Reduce sources of stress in the lives of children and families Since these scientifically-grounded recommendations lead to better outcomes for children, they have become our strategic goals. In the 2021 Science to Policy and Practice Update, the authors write, “At the individual level, services can focus on active skill-building for both kids and adults.” Goal #1: Support Responsive Relationships Between Children and Adults Our first goal is to teach adults about the serve-and-return interaction within a wide range of contexts and settings through video, audio, books, online resources, social media campaigns and trainings. These resources will guide adults in learning how to maintain or develop responsive relationships with children. Goal #2: Help Children and Adults Build and Strengthen Core Life Skills Our second goal is to create frequent opportunities to learn and practice core life skills in age-appropriate, meaningful contexts, such as play and movement-based activities. This helps adults


Our Goals

learn or reinforce the same core life skills while modeling the skills for children. Core life skills help people focus, plan, achieve goals, adapt to changing situations, and resist impulsive behavior. Children need to develop these skills, and adults need to strengthen them, in order to have a fully functioning society. Goal #3: Reduce School-wide Stress Our third goal is to provide a multi-generational, communitybased approach to reducing stress. This approach will allow adults to provide stable environments that offer children the lifelong benefit of developing a healthy stress response system.

Responsive Caregiving in Adults

GOAL 2: Build Core Life Skills

Healthy Brain Development in Kids

GOAL 1: Support Responsive Connections

GOAL 3: Reduce Community Stress


*Diagram adapted from "3 Principles to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, 2021 Update" found at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.




Our Strategy

OUR STRATEGY A COMMUNITY CARE MODEL: WE CAN HOLD MORE TOGETHER During difficult and traumatic times, the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” way of thinking just won't work. It assumes that families already have enough resources necessary to support themselves and their children. The reality is that people don’t have equal access to time, money, and other important resources needed to thrive. Because of this, community care is vital. It ensures that everyone's needs are met, including even the most marginalized children and families.


Shared Circle of Resilience

Inside the shared circle of resilience, we're able to:

(Community Care Model)

Find support Stay emotionally regulated Remain flexible Connect to our body Connect with others Feel our emotions and use these feelings to get what we need in a respectful, responsible way Be kind & caring

Constricted Circle of Resilience (self-care model)

Adapted diagram from the work of Dr. Arielle Schwartz, Linda Thai & Dr. Cathy Malchiodi


Our Strategy

A SCHOOL PROGRAM A STUDENT-LED, YEAR-LONG "LOOK FOR THE GOOD®" PROGRAM The Look for the Good® Program is a two-week, school-wide initiative which can now be expanded into a year-long experience, depending on the school's preference. We have organized the program into two steps, allowing schools to decide when their community is mentally and emotionally ready to advance to the second step. We are targeting elementary schools because we believe younger children are most open to learning core life skills and the life-long impact is the greatest. Furthermore, as teachers and parents teach core life skills to the children and students, they have the opportunity to improve their own core life skills too.


Our Strategy

A YEAR-LONG PATH TO COMMUNITY RESILIENCE Student Leaders Unite the School Community Practicing gratitude helps the community "resource" together. In trauma recovery, resourcing means identifying and instilling enough safety, comfort, and coping skills that allow the body to start healing. During this phase of the program, all educators are given free access to Wiggle Warrior® Classroom to integrate into their classroom management strategy for the rest of the year. Wiggle Warrior® Classroom is a passwordprotected site which offers educational videos and lesson plans for educators and stress-reducing activities for kids. It also introduces viewers to our Wiggle Warrior® Tools that can help reinforce learning.

Adults Introduce Wiggle Warrior® Tools By using Wiggle Warrior® Classroom and playing with our Wiggle Warrior® tools, the entire community builds skills that will reduce their stress and better prepare them for life!



UNITE THE COMMUNITY WITH TWO WEEKS OF GRATITUDE The school year begins with a two-week Gratitude Campaign that helps students and teachers express gratitude for themselves, each other, and the people who matter to them. With the help of a teacher advisor, student leaders organize this two-week effort, starting with a kickoff assembly. During the assembly, the student leaders will ask the entire school to share their gratitude on sticky notes to be displayed somewhere in the school. As students participate, this display quickly grows until there are thousands of notes on display to inspire everyone.


Our Strategy

GRATITUDE COMPONENTS The Gratitude Spot Cultivates Play & Curiosity The Gratitude Spot is a temporary floor sticker to remind students to look for the good. Once the Gratitude Spot is demonstrated during the Kickoff Assembly, students are eager to share their thoughts out loud, and often form lines so that they each have a chance to share something. Kindness Cards Cultivate Belonging & Safety Kindness Cards are distributed to encourage compliments between students and staff. Since the cards say “You Matter” on the front, participants often tell people why they matter when they give away a card. The Gratitude Wall Cultivates Wonder & Joy Each day, students and teachers are asked to add their gratitude to the “Gratitude Wall.” These notes are written during the 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 a sense of pride and ownership among students. The You Matter Letter Cultivates Gratitude In addition to sharing their thoughts on the Gratitude Wall, we ask students to write a letter of thanks to someone who matters to them. Students will then read this letter out loud to this person, and reflect on what it was like to share a letter like that with a loved one.


Our Strategy

STUDENT-LED KICKOFF With the help of an adult advisor, a small group of student leaders will run a kickoff assembly to educate the school about the program. Students will often opt to show our 15 minute video which relays an inspiring true story of a whale rescue, which first inspired Anne Kubitsky to start the Look for the Good Project. Students are often moved by this video and eager to learn more about whales and start practicing gratitude. Student enthusiasm then trickles up to the adults until everyone is eager to participate.


Our Strategy

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES HELP KIDS IDENTIFY SAFE ADULTS In addition to helping kids cultivate curiosity and gratitude, the Look for the Good® program helps students connect with (and thank!) safe adults who have been protective and supportive. This activity gives kids a greater sense of safety and makes them feel more prepared for the next component of the program - Wiggle Warrior® Classroom.

“The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. These relationships provide the personalized responsiveness, scaffolding, and protection that buffer children from developmental disruption. They also build key capacities—such as the ability to plan, monitor, and regulate behavior—that enable children to respond adaptively to adversity and thrive. This combination of supportive relationships, adaptive skill-building, and positive experiences is the foundation of resilience.”

- Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University




INTRODUCE WIGGLE W A R R I O R® T O O L S T O K I D S In order to prevent toxic positivity within the school community, we are encouraging classroom teachers to use Wiggle Warrior® Tools to help educate their students about the nervous system. This is called psychoeducation. Our Wiggle Warrior® Tools were developed by our founder and inspired by the latest research in behavioral neuroscience, psychology, child development, and a variety of therapeutic models.

WIGGLE WARRIOR® LEARNING OBJECTIVES Support a Balance Between Automatic & Intentional Self-Regulation Skills and Thereby Support the Development of Core Life Skills Wiggle Warriors learn how to "befriend" their stress so that they can balance automatic and intentional regulation strategies

Intentional Self-Regulation

Automatic Self-Regulation


Our Strategy


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This shield helps kids identify their emotions and make healthy choices. It also helps them use their imagination to "shrink" their stress and "befriend" their feelings.

Our Strategy

EVERYONE IS INTRODUCED TO THE "I'M FINE" BOX The “I’m Fine” Box is an invisible box that appears whenever we’re feeling critical or embarrassed about our stress. We’ll say “I’m Fine,” when we’re really feeling something else. But even though stressful emotions can be uncomfortable, there's no need hide them because they can actually be pretty useful. For example, Mad emotions can teach us to be calm and clear about what we don’t want, and give us the energy to advocate for what we need; Sad emotions can remind us to slow down and care for ourselves whenever we’re experiencing a loss or change; Icky emotions can help us identify dishonesty or danger; And Afraid emotions often show up with a burst of energy to help us get away or hide from danger.



Our Strategy

WHENEVER YOU'RE READY TO OPEN YOUR BOX, WE CAN HELP! We've created a colorful picture book series to help kids process big feelings with the grownups who care for them. For Younger Kids

For Older Kids




Our Strategy

ADULTS MODEL MOVING AND WIGGLING TO SHAKE OUT THEIR STRESS Accessible Wiggle Warrior Practice To make sure that all children have access to our materials, with or without an adult, we created a free Wiggle Warrior activity directly on our website. Check it out here:

Create Your Own Wiggle Wall Book Each page in this full-color book is meant to be ripped out and taped to a wall to create a "Wiggle Wall." Once installed, teachers and social workers can use the wall as a calming station.


Our Strategy

KIDS LEARN HOW TO BREATHE TO SHRINK THEIR STRESS Free Breathing App We are currently beta testing a free app to help kids breathe through big feelings. This app included an augmented reality feature as well as playful animation to help kids reset. Other Breathing Activities We have created a variety of animated breathing activities to make deep breathing more fun. In each activity, the viewer gets the sense that their breath is magically transporting through the screen and shrinking the stressful emotion they are trying to "befriend."


Our Strategy









©Anne Kubitsky


Our Strategy

LEARNING IS REINFORCED WITH ONLINE PROGRAMMING IN SCHOOL & AT HOME Wiggle Warrior® Classroom and Wiggle Warrior® Family are online social emotional learning (SEL) programs for K - 6 teachers and parents. Both programs are presented by Grammy®nominated musician and actress, Jessica DeShong. The programs are informed by the latest research in behavioral neuroscience, psychology, child development, and a variety of therapeutic models - including Internal Family Systems, Somatic Experiencing, and Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy. Each program includes educational videos for adults, stress-reducing exercises for kids, and colorful workbooks to help kids process big feelings.


Our Strategy

SINCE ADULTS MAY ALSO NEED TO LEARN THESE THINGS, WE ARE PROVIDING THE FOLLOWING BOOKS AND RESOURCES A Workbook for Parents & Educators Since this information is relatively new and many adults will need to unlearn some things to better support their kids, we put together a colorful workbook for parents and educators. This book will help you identify stress in yourself as well as your kids, and teach you how to diffuse a meltdown by working with the stress, instead of against it.

A Free Webinar on Burnout With a 221% spike in google searches for the term, "signs of burnout" last year, it's pretty clear we're all zapped. In this webinar we teach adults about burnout and the many ways they can use our tools to heal.


Our Strategy

WHY THIS MATTERS Kids have an inherent need to connect because they depend on the adults around them to survive. When the adults in their lives are frightening, confusing, unpredictable, or frequently in conflict with each other, kids often begin to believe that they are bad or at fault for the adult's behavior, which negatively impacts their self-esteem. This is why adults and kids need to practice core life skills together. As adults and kids learn to wiggle their stress into strength, they will practice meeting their own needs in a respectful and responsible way and develop a secure attachment style. Not only is this healing for the adult, who may have not experienced a secure attachment as a child, but it sets the child up to thrive in adulthood.

Yes Is the adult attentive & responsive?


From the work of Ayan Mukherjee

Secure Attachment with Self & Others The child feels safe and develops a healthy self-esteem. Indicators: Playful, less inhibited, smiling, curious, sociable.

Insecure Attachment with Self & Others A variety of behaviors develop due to increasing anxiety over the inattentive or abusive adult. Indicators: Acting out, stress, low self-esteem

Consistently No The child becomes defensively avoidant of the adult and appears indifferent.


Inconsistently No The child becomes preoccupied with the adult, clingy & anxious.



Key Concepts


Emotions are Visitors to Help You DO Something By introducing emotions as little visitors who arrive to help a person meet a need, kids are less likely to overly identify with their stress and simply see it as a bodybased signal that is calling for their attention. This shifts any shame they may have into curiosity and selfcompassion. We are breaking "stress" down into four core emotion characters: Mad, Sad, Icky & Afraid.

The "I'm Fine" Box This box allows kids to put their unprocessed stress in a safe place when they are not ready to deal with it yet. They can say, "Right now I'm choosing to put my feelings in the box. I'll process them later, when I'm ready." Since trauma takes away choice, regaining the ability to choose when to process stress is an important part of re-establishing comfort and safety.

The Squasher Squad Squishes Your Emotions in the "I'm Fine" Box & Squashes Your Self-Esteem The Squasher Squad are three additional emotion characters - Guilt, Shame & Anxiety. These three characters will squash a person's core emotions in the "I'm Fine" box and take their self-esteem too. In order to reclaim their self-esteem (which is also stuck in the box), kids need to open the box and wiggle through the stress inside.


Key Concepts


Therapeutic Models

Trauma Psychoeducation

Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Linda Thai's Certificate in Somatic

Somatic Internal Family Systems

Embodiment & Regulation Strategies

AEDP Therapy Somatic Experiencing (SE) Applied Polyvagal Theory

Child Development The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University & Attachment Project

Experts in the Field Linda Thai, LMSW

Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW

Karla McLaren, M.Ed

Dr. Arielle Schwartz

Dr. Frank Anderson

Dr. Judson Brewer

Dr. Nadine Harris

Dr. Brené Brown

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Pete Walker, MA

Dr. Christina Reese

Dr. Janina Fisher

Dr. Carol S. Dweck

Dr. Emily Nagoski

Stanley Rosenberg

Dr. Peter Levine

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson

Dr. Stephen Porges

Dr. Gabor Maté

Dr. Bruce D. Perry

Susan McConnell

Emotion Education 101 If you want to learn more about emotions, from an AEDP perspective, check out Hilary Jacobs Hendel's Emotion Education 101 course:




Track Record


OPTIONAL SURVEY AMONG STUDENTS From 2016 - 2018, 2,600 students from 25 schools opted to take an anonymous survey on the last day of the program. These students were in 4th, 5th, or 6th grade and had chosen to take the survey entirely on their own through a Google form. From these selfreports, we learned that 71% of students thought that the program reduced bullying in the school, 76% thought that the program increased kindness in the school, and 92% agreed that they would recommend the program to other schools. 54

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FEEDBACK HAS BEEN OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE “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 School, OR

"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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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. - Courtney

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 57


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REFLECTION FROM A PARENT 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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INCOMPLETE LIST OF PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS Adams Elementary School Adams Middle School Alcott School Alexander Hamilton School Alta Vista Elementary School Amity Middle School Ana Grace School Ann Antolini School Baldwin Middle School Barkhamstead School Bear Creek School ** Beech Hill Elementary Bellview Elementary Bethany Community School Black Rock School Blueberry Hill School Bodkin School Botelle School Brennan Rogers School ** Brooker Creek Elememtary Brooklyn School Bryant School Bugbee School Burris Laboratory School ** Buttonball Lane School C. L. Milton Elementary Calf Pen Meadow School Cascade Locks School ** Cedar Valley School Central Avenue School Central Elementary Central Elementary School Central School Charles Wright Elementary Chatham Elementary School Chester Elementary School

Church Street School ** Clintonville School Colonial Trail ** Columbia Grammar & Prep Cooke School Crafton Elementary School CREC Aerospace Creech School ** Chamberlain Primary School Frank J. DiLoreto School Gaffney Elemetary School Holmes Elementary School Lincoln Elementary School Northend Elementary School Smalley Academy Smith Elementary School Jefferson Elementary School Vance Village School Deep River Elementary School Dodd Middle School Doolittle Elementary School Downing Elementary School ** Dr. Charles E Murphy School Duffy School Dunbar Hill School East School EC Stevens School Edgemont Elementary School Emerson School Emerson-Williams Elementary Eric G. Norfeldt School Essex Elementary School Estes Hills Elementary ** Forest Ridge Elementary School Four Seasons School Frank T Wheeler School


Franklin Elementary School Franklin Township School ** Frisbie Elementary School Gallup Hill School Garfield Elementary School Geiger Elementary ** Gibbsboro School Gideon Welles School Gifft Hill School ** Gilbert Elementary School Glastonbury East Hartford Glen Rose Intermediate ** Glenside Elementary School ** Green Acres Elementary School Green Acres School Greenbrier Elementary School Griswold School Guilford Before and After Care Guilford High School Guilford Lakes School Gwyned Mercy Academy Hanover Elementary School Hebron Avenue School High Horizons Magnet ** Highland Elementary School Hill Elementary Hollywood Hill Elementary Hoover Elementary School CREC International Magnet School for Global Citizenship Indian Hill School Irving School Island Avenue School Israel Putnam Elementary ** Jefferson Elementary School John B. Sliney School

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John F Kennedy School Juliet Long Elementary School Killingly Central School Killingly Memorial School Kingfield Elementary School Klein Elementary School Knights Ferry School ** Korn School Kyrene de los Ninos School Laurel Ledge Elementary Lawrence Elementary Lemm Elementary ** Lenox Elementary ** Lillie B. Haynes School Lincoln Elementary ** Lincoln Elementary Lincoln Heights Magnet Live Oaks Elementary Long Meadow Elementary Louis Toffolon School Ludlow-Taylor School Lyme School Lyme-Old Lyme School Lynn Road School Maple Shade Elementary Martin School Mary T Murphy School Mason Central Elementary Melissa Jones School Mesa View Elemetnary Mile Creek School Mill Hill School Mohegan School Monarch Global Academy ** Mountain View Elementary Murphy Elementary School ** Nayaug School New Britain School District New Emerson STEAM School

North Street School Norton Elementary School Oak Ridge School Oakdale Elementary Okolona Elementary Orange Avenue School Pasadena Elementary School Pell School Phantom Lake School Pittsfield Elementary School Pocomoke Elementary ** Poinsettia Elementary ** Pond Hill School Prendergast Elementary Pride Elementary ** Prospect Elementary School PS 354 of Queens ** PS108 ** Quaker Farms School R D Seymour School Reeds Spring School Ridge Hill School Rio Vista Elementary School Riverside Elementary ** Rock Hill Elementary School Roger E. Sides Elementary Roger Sherman Elementary Rogers Lane Elementary Rushmore Avenue School Salamonie School Salem Elementary School Salisbury Community School ** Seven Bar Elementary Sierra Vista Elementary Sixth Grade Academy Skinner Road School ** Snow Elementary School South Athens Elementary ** South Shore Elementary School


Southwest School Spring Glen School Springdale School Stott Elementary School ** Sunnyside Elementary Sunset Lake Elementary Thomaston Center School Tisko Elementary School Tom Bean Elementary ** Tootin’ Hills School Torringford Elementary School UCP East/Bailes School ** Van Buren Moody School Ventnor Elementary School ** Veteran’s Park Elementary Vogel-Wetmore School Waddell School ** Wakelee Elementary School Warren School Washington Elementary School Wegienka Elementary West Broad Street School West Deptford Middle School West Terace Elementary ** Wharton Dual Language Academy ** Wieland Elementary ** Wilcoxson School Wilson Elementary School Winchester School Windermere School Wolcott High School Yates Mill School **

This is not a complete list. NOTE: Schools with ** were fully or partially sponsored.

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IN THE NEWS 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.



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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?” 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.


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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 student 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 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.”



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“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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HELPING A SCHOOL 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



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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 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.”



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MEET LUCY 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 provided 344 low-income students 10 full days of Look for the Good programming!


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SPONSORED SCHOOLS 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!” 73


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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.” 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!” 75

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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 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!”


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STUDENT HEROES 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.” We offer an annual gift of $1,000 to support an elementary school student showing remarkable resilience - like Margaret.




(AGE 9)

(AGE 11)

(AGE 12)


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Susan Larson Thomaston Center School, Thomaston, CT We offered Susan a $1,000 Prize in 2021 "I love teaching because I have the opportunity each day to support students in all of their academic and personal needs. So often students who are referred to me for reading do not need reading help; they need special attention, a snack, a listening ear, a sounding board, a kind interaction, or a quiet setting in which to process all of the expectations that are put on them. I have the chance every day to make each child feel special. I greet them as they enter school in the morning, check in with those students who may need a snack for the day, help others in getting organized, or just ask how they are doing. If I win, I would love to use some of the prize money to create foster care bags with my family and best friend's family to bring comfort to a child who finds himself being removed from home without any personal belongings. We would offer these bags to social workers at our local Department of Children and Families Center. The bags would include toiletries, a small blanket, a journal, and a stuffed animal. Everyone deserves to feel safe, and these bags will allow children to have some sense of ownership when they have no control over other parts of their lives."


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Wenda Oscar Crosspointe Elementary, Boynton Beach, FL We offered Wenda a $500 Prize in 2021 "Mrs. Oscar has completed many home visits to our non-English speaking families to address virtual attendance of their children. Often our parents do not speak English let alone have the ability to assist their child with virtual learning. Mrs. Oscar has the most generous heart and has amazing ideas on how to assist our students."

Marycarmen Lopez University Hill Elementary School, Boulder, CO We offered Marycarmen a $500 Prize in 2021 "Marycarmen has truly gone above and beyond to support our transgender daughter Tav transition at school in the fall 2020 semester. Marycarmen









community, identity, culture, what being transgender means, and how to be a supportive ally/upstander. We cannot emphasize enough that Marycarmen did all of this in addition to the major disruptions to the classroom and schedule that have been caused by the pandemic."





CEO & FOUNDER ANNE KUBITSKY Anne has received numerous awards for her innovative efforts to create social change, including the "Point of Light Award" - a community service award originating out of The White House. She holds a dual degree in biology and philosophy from Smith College, with additional undergraduate and graduate training in graphic design, illustration, and art education. Anne is a trauma survivor and has been studying meditation, yoga, spirituality, psychology, and a variety of therapeutic models for over 20 years. Look for the Good Project is her effort to support the larger community with the healing tools she has discovered along the way. She has been our lead author, video editor, and graphic artist for the last 10 years, and has created (and donated) over 24 books for the organization.







ADVISORY COMMITTEE LARRY KOFFLER Former Executive Vice President of BCW-Global

SCOTT MACGREGOR DR. BARBARA GLENN LUNGARINI Founder & CEO of The FREDRICKSON Director of the CT Talent Champions Positive Emotions & Association of Council Psychophysiology Lab Schools

Message from Our Board Chair "This time is showing us all of our frayed edges, our list of denials and priorities, and overwhelm in the unknown. Our emotions are bubbling up and are no longer contained by 'normal.' My pull to this project comes from a deep need to build bridges using self-awareness. After decades of inner work, the only way I have found to connect the inner awareness we all have to our everyday is through how we feel. We have not created a common language or a simple way to understand our emotions. Instead we have become increasingly reactive. This is our attempt to begin to remedy that."



WIGGLE WARRIOR HOST JESSICA DESHONG Jessica DeShong is a Grammy®-nominated American musician and actress. Born into a culturally diverse military family of Korean, African and Caucasian influences, she has had the pleasure of exploring many different cultures her entire life. This lifelong experience has enabled her to be skilled and adaptable within the entertainment industry. Jessica is the creator of the YouTube kids channel "Miss Jessica’s World" which helps kids foster a love of learning through music, movement and cultural exploration. Along with her captivating acting abilities, Jessica is a talented voice over artist, vocalist, pianist, violist and songwriter, bringing to life every piece of music she touches. As an artist, she seeks to be involved in projects that empower her audience, encourage thought, laughter and healing.



EDUCATION SPECIALIST KARI YACAWYCH Kari has been a teacher for the past 27 years. She spent the first 20 years of her teaching experience as a classroom teacher for first, second, and fourth grade. For the past seven years, she has been the Library Media Specialist at Sunnyside Elementary School. Kari has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Psychology and a Master of Science in Education. Kari started working on our content in 2020 and has played an integral part (along with her kids!) in planning out the Wiggle Warrior® program.



ANIMATION TEAM ANMP ANMP is a group of talented artists in Europe who have collectively worked on a variety of well known films: Maleficent (Disney), Loki (Marvel), Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros), The Lion King (Disney), and The Witches (Warner Bros). With Anne Kubitsky serving as Art Director, ANMP masterfully brought our character designs to life!



RECENT PARTNERSHIPS For the last few years, we have been working closely with OPEN (The Online Physical Education Network), an organization that provides free, outcomes-based curriculum tools to 120,000+ physical education teachers. With an equity impact of more than 60 million students, OPEN has been helping us get our content out to children all over the country! In addition to this, we've partnered with Kinzoo, a free messaging app for kids, to provide free mental health programming within their platform. We would also like to thank the Jason Mraz Foundation for their support in 2020 as we developed our Wiggle Warrior® Programs!



A NOTE ON HOW WE GOT STARTED After running Look for the Good Project as a public art project from 2011 - 2014, Anne Kubitsky officially established Look for the Good Project, Inc. as a 501C3 nonprofit organization in 2014. From 2014 to 2018, she bootstrapped the organization by deferring payment on a significant portion of her salary so that almost all funding could go toward program development. Since this impacted her ability to afford stable housing, she moved eight times during this startup phase. Even though this was a difficult time for Anne, these sacrifices enabled us to keep our costs down and the organization afloat. Thanks to a generous donor, we were finally able to pay Anne a full salary starting in 2019. We began hiring part-time contractors in 2020, and are making progress toward hiring another full-time person to help Anne in 2023. Most importantly, Anne's ability to create high quality print and video content without the extra price tag is what is powering our business model. For example, in the last two years, Anne has created 24 books for the organization, redesigned our website, revised our programming, and helped develop content for two apps. Her talents in writing, art, business, and science have empowered us to pivot quickly. It also set up the organization to earn a significant portion of funding through royalties and licensing fees surrounding Anne's original content, which she is freely sharing with us.


Before Look for the Good Project was established as a 501C3 organization, Anne Kubitsky was running this effort as a public art project. From 2011 - 2014, Anne collected 22,000 messages from the community and used these messages to create interactive art installations in public parks, hospitals, hotels, resorts, retreat centers, and colleges. Anne (pictured at right) stands with Diana Lyn Cote in front of "The Gratitude Door" they built at Hammonasset Beach State Park in CT. Anne spent the summer of 2013 collecting grateful graffiti from park visitors so that she could donate the gratitude-covered door to Connecticut Valley Hospital, a mental hospital nearby.