For Teens/Young Adults: Digging Deep

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image (10)Soaringwords is proud to introduce Soaringwords Book Club video series Digging Deep: A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges written by Rose Offner & Sheri Brisson.

Journaling is proven to enhance a patient’s sense of well-being as writing about the narratives of our lives is one of the most powerful means available for moving toward greater happiness (Tomasulo and Pawelski, 2012).

Three author interview videos share personal stories and pointers to using the journal. We created a special video for patients, a separate video for parents, and a third video for healthcare providers.

The authors combined their talents and experience — Rose is a successful author and Sheri is a brain-tumor survivor and successful businesswoman.

Soaringwords filmed six Digging Deep activity videos with patients and families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California and Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. These creative hands-on activity videos include Life Awards You where patients give themselves an award for being courageous, kind, or resilient; 100 Dreams and Desires; Good Fortunes where patients write their own fortune cookie messages; and Taking Out the Trash.

When patients engage in these projects it enhances their well-being. Interested in Digging Deep? Contact sheri@resonancehouse.org

Interview with the authors:

Once Upon a Time:

Good Fortunes:

100 Dreams and Desires:

Tricks Up My Sleeves:

Throwing Out The Trash:

Give Yourself an Award:

 

 

For Adults: Digging Deep

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artchild_3_lgSoaringwords is proud to introduce a Soaringwords Book Club video series Digging Deep: A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges, written by Rose Offner & Sheri Brisson.

Journaling is proven to enhance a patient’s sense of well-being as writing about the narratives of our lives is one of the most powerful means available for moving toward greater happiness (Tomasulo and Pawelski, 2012).

Three author interview videos share personal stories and pointers to using the journal. We created a special video for patients, a separate video for parents, and a third video for healthcare providers.

The authors combined their talents and experience — Rose is a successful author and Sheri is a brain-tumor survivor and successful businesswoman.

Soaringwords filmed six Digging Deep activity videos with patients and families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California and Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. These creative hands-on activity videos include Life Awards You where patients give themselves an award for being courageous, kind, or resilient; 100 Dreams and Desires; Good Fortunes where patients write their own fortune cookie messages; and Taking Out the Trash.

When patients engage in these projects it enhances their well-being. Interested in Digging Deep? Contact sheri@resonancehouse.org

Interview with the authors:

Once Upon a Time:

Good Fortunes:

100 Dreams and Desires:

Tricks Up My Sleeves:

Throwing Out The Trash:

Give Yourself an Award:

 

Hospital Outreach

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Lisa Buksbaum, CEO & Founder of Soaringwords, is conducting a global empirical research study on the impact of positive psychology interventions, using the SOARING into Strength model. This empirical study is an extension of Lisa’s Master’s Thesis, Soaringwords Empirical Research to Measure the Well-being of Hospitalized Children under the Internal Review Board (IRB) at the University of Pennsylvania. Patients will be sourced from in-patient general pediatrics, behavioral health, obesity clinics, family clinics and departments where patients are treated for chronic conditions (asthma unit, dialysis unit, burn unit). This new study will expand the sample from 250 hospitalized children to a targeted goal of more than 2,000 pediatric patients, many additional hospital collaboration sites and an expanded global reach. You and your hospital will be able to use this research to show how expressive arts interventions and a customized dance class impact pediatric patient well-being. Your hospital will be prominently featured in the article that we will submit for publication in a leading scientific journal.

A shareable letter for prospective hospital partners can be downloaded here.

 

Mission: Each year millions of children around the world suffer from chronic or serious illness. Soaringwords’ mission is to inspire ill children and their families to take active roles in self-healing. Soaringwords is unique as it is the only organization to motivate ill children and families to “pay it forward” to help others. Studies show that when a child does something kind for another child it accelerates transformative healing. Soaringwords provides fun, creative and educational activities both in person and online based on positive psychology concepts.

Soaringwords’ interventions are based on the belief that strength and greatness are inside each child, family member, and healthcare professional regardless of his or her ability or socioeconomic status. Soaringwords also encourages children and families of all abilities to embrace active, healthy lifestyles. At the bottom of this page are a handful of testimonials from Child Life professionals who have collaborated with Soaringwords for several years.

 

Project Design:

The study is a one-time intervention to measure the impact of positive interventions designed to inspire hospitalized children to experience heightened physical and emotional well-being in the midst of serious illness. The study involves four distinct groups to measure the efficacy among each of the interventions

1) Patients experiencing a SoaringSuperhero® expressive arts project and a Zumba® Fitness class;

2) Patients experiencing a SoaringSuperhero® expressive arts project only;

3) Patients experiencing the Zumba Fitness class only;

4) An active control group asked to make a drawing of a person for the same amount of time as the above mentioned interventions.

Participants will participate one-time in one of the four aforementioned interventions. The target sample size is 2,000 children. We will also collect data from participating family members and hospital professionals who participate in the interventions (as they are always welcome to be part of Soaringwords hospital programs). We expect each hospital to secure between ten to twenty patients per week with the goal of 200 patients from your hospital.

 

Publicizing Research Findings

You and your hospital will be prominently acknowledged in all citations. Along with my esteemed colleagues Dr. Peggy Kern, author of the EPOCH scale of adolescent well-being and world-renown positive psychology researcher and Pamela Núñez del Prado, Director, Positive Psychology Research Group, Child Health National Institute, Lima, Peru and the Research Methods and Human Development Professor, Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú. The two lead scientists on the team are Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft and Dr. Nina Hoe from the University of Pennsylvania. We plan to submit an article of the findings to be published in a scholarly journal.

 

Accomplishments:

To date, Soaringwords’ programs have embraced more than 250,000 pediatric patients and families in hospitals and family clinics and 135,000 volunteers and families in company settings or community centers. Relevant accomplishments include:         

  • Sharing Soaringwords Expressive Arts programs with children and families in 196 hospitals.
  • Each month, 355 Zumba instructors lead Soaringwords expressive arts projects followed by customized Zumba classes for children and families grappling with serious illness. This provides an energizing way for children and families to do something fun and meaningful that creates emotional and physical elevation in well-being, even while they are grappling with illness or disability. The Instructors complete a rigorous Soaringwords training and are licensed to teach Zumba® Kids and Zumba® Gold (for people with mobility challenges). The Soaringwords + Zumba classes engage the entire family to participate in the activity giving parents the opportunity to have fun and bond with their children.
  • Soaringwords created and ran Caring for Yourself as Caregiver of A Special Needs Child workshop for families at 92Y in NYC with Dr. Catherine Lord, Founder, Center for Autism and the Developing Brain.  
  • Soaringwords has shared a What to Say and Do for Parents of Ill Children workshop for 1,000 employees and their families at Johnson & Johnson and Northrop Grumman.
  • Lisa Buksbaum was the subject content expert on Good Morning America shortly after Jett Travolta died sharing coping mechanisms and strategies for parents and families. Lisa shared ten strategies to help people learn “what to never say to families who lost a child.” Many times, Soaringwords has been called in to lead community-wide programs to help families cope with complex emotions during a crisis when a child becomes seriously ill or dies. Soaringwords was selected as the Eye on Philanthropy CEO and cause by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. 
  • Soaringwords’ projects have been embraced by thousands of employees in dozens of employee resource groups that assist children and families with disabilities at leading companies such as NY Life, BNYMellon, and American Express in many cities around the country.
  • Soaringwords/Lisa Buksbaum has been invited to present at five international scientific conferences: (International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) World Congress, L.A. 2013; IPPA, Orlando, 2015; European Conference Positive Psychology (ECPP) Amsterdam, 2014; ECPP, Angers, 2016; International Positive Education Network (IPEN), Dallas, 2016.
  • Soaringwords/Lisa Buksbaum has been a keynote speaker at dozens of conferences and global meetings for leading companies such as Johnson & Johnson; Accenture; Verizon; JPMorgan Chase.

The following is a detailed description of the proposed project and it’s projected impact and outcomes for patients and families.

 

Project components:
1) Soaringwords’ Expressive Arts & Writing Projects. The first phase of the empirical study is based on a one-time intervention that will be shared with a larger sample size. Over a ten week period, hospital professionals and Soaringwords facilitators will lead a one-time creative hands-on Soaringwords’ SoaringSuperhero® activity based on positive psychology concepts among 200 patients in your hospital. We hope to be able to provide a class once a week (with ten patients a class). Soaringwords activities enhance wellness, creativity and community.

2) Modified dance classes. Soaringwords leaders are specially trained in Zumba Kids® and Zumba Gold® to use customized moves that are appropriate for children with limited mobility and/or other disabilities and able to lead classes for patients of all abilities, family members and hospital professionals.

 

 

SOARING into Strength. The Positive Psychology Approach to Help Children and Families Heal:

Soaringwords pioneered a new positive psychology model to enhance well-being of patients, their families, and caregivers. This evidence-based model is called SOARING. SOARING has been tested among hundreds of patients in the U.S. This new study expands the sample beyond the U.S. to include patients in Peru, Australia, Israel, and Canada to assess the impact among thousands of pediatric patients and their families, and hospital staff. Each participant will be given a series of questions (pre and post-event measurement for each intervention) to show the change in well-being. The model consists of seven components:

  • Shifting: you can do something to create a positive shift in your attitude, your body, and overall well-being. 
  • Optimism: you can choose to find good things to notice and celebrate even when times are difficult or painful.
  • Altruism: you can gain a sense of control, calm, and purpose by sharing your creativity, kindness, character strengths, and hope with others.
  • Resiliency: you have the capacity to flourish in the face of difficulty.
  • Imagery: you can tap into your inner knowledge to heal.
  • Narrative: you can heal though the power of storytelling, writing, and reading.
  • Gratitude: you can choose to experience moments of appreciation, even in the midst of challenges.

 

Outcomes: 

  • We will measure the percent of pediatric participants who demonstrate positive changes in well-being as reflected in the pre and post activity survey which is administered by a hospital professional at the time of the intervention. Attributes measured include: positive affect, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment in addition to self-reported health, hope, gratitude, strength and resilience, agency and reciprocity (Soaringwords Capstone Research, 2013).  
  • We will measure changes in the well-being of family members as reflected in the pre and post activity surveys.
  • Healthcare professionals participating in the initiative will report increased well-being which leads to better interaction with patients and the family members they serve and decreased compassion fatigue and caregiver burn-out.

 

Next Steps: I am happy to speak to you and any of your colleagues to answer any questions and discuss the Research Study in greater detail. I have included a handful of testimonials from hospitals that have benefited from Soaringwords programs for several years. I hope you will sign and date this letter and email it back to us to signal your approval.

As Margaret Mead so eloquently stated, “Never doubt the power of a small group of committed citizens to change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Your support and a shared vision and purpose will enable Soaringwords to scale proven programs and transform the lives of vulnerable children, their families and the healthcare professionals who care for them. This global project will be a significant contribution to the field. Thanks for the opportunity to put our hearts and minds together for a wonderful purpose.

 

 

Feedback from Child Life professionals for the Soaringwords + Zumba = Love for Hospitalized Children initiative 

Soaringwords has been leading volunteer program at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital since 2004. In 2012-2013, I had the pleasure of collaborating in the first Soaringwords empirical research study that included 100 of our patients who participated in a Soaringwords Superhero intervention. The patients were unanimously happy to be invited to participate in the study and the findings showed that getting and creating a Soaringwords Superhero message and artwork significantly enhanced patient well-being of all of the participants. This finding was not surprising to me since the monthly Soaringwords visits with the expressive arts projects and customized Zumba classes are so greatly appreciated by all of our patients and families here at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. This is a wonderful organization doing meaningful work that supports our Child Life mission. — Katelynn Torres, Child Life Specialist, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 

 

Each month the Soaringwords + Zumba team arrive with a burst of energy and effervescence. These volunteers transform the recreational mall into the most happening place to be in Chicago! The patients and families love participating in the expressive arts projects all of which are designed to enhance the well-being of our children. The activities are powerful ice-breakers that motivate our patients to tap into their creativity and altruism which has a soothing and reassuring impact on their confidence and resilience. The customized dance classes build on the power of the arts project and exactly what our patients need: great music, age-appropriate songs and ALL of the choreography modified so that our patients in wheelchairs and with mobility challenges can participate fully. The instructors are trained to work with children of all abilities so that everyone feels 100% part of the dance experience. I love seeing the smiles and joy pulsing throughout the mall activities room.

I am excited to be part of the new Soaringwords Empirical Research project because we want to have data to show the impact of healing expressive arts projects and movement classes on the well-being of our pediatric patients, their families and our professional staff who care for them. This study will give us empirical findings to show the impact of these wonderful interventions to enhance physical and emotional well-being.  — Darlene Kelly, Recreational Therapy/Child Life Director, Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago

 

Soaringwords programs have been a well-loved staple at our hospital since 2002. The patients love doing the Soaringwords expressive arts activities and unique projects. More recently, since 2012, our patients and families look forward to participating in the customized Zumba Kids classes. Immediately after the arts and crafts and writing projects, the Soaringwords + Zumba volunteers offer modified dance experiences bringing a lot of fun and cheer to our pediatric floor. Many of our patients have shown physical or emotional breakthroughs after attending these classes. Often times parents tell me, “this is the first time I’ve seen my child smile in days” or they say that “this is the first time I’ve been able to have a few minutes of fun and chill out since my child got ill.” The Soaringwords program brings our staff and the children and families we serve together with a real sense of joy and community. This has also been a wonderful program to give the siblings of patients something fun and meaningful that they can enjoy while spending so many hours at the hospital.

The Soaringwords volunteers are highly professional and positive. Lisa Buksbaum, Soaringwords’ CEO & Founder is a strong leader and has a calming presence. Over the years in many instances, I have seen her touch the lives of so many patients and parents, saying the right words or sharing a healing imagery exercise at the most trying times in the hospitalization. Lisa has brought many volunteer delegations to our hospital from local companies. The patients and families appreciate receiving the special SoaringQuilts and SoaringPillows with inspirational messages and artwork.
I completely recommend this outstanding program. —Marcia Graham, Child Life Specialist, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center

 

I work with hospitalized children every day. To have the opportunity to engage with patients in this way was so gratifying. At one point I took a moment to watch – staff were laughing, patients were smiling, music was playing and during that moment no one was thinking “I’m in a hospital” or “I’m stressed and have so much to do before I leave.” Everyone was present and joyful, and it didn’t need to be analyzed or assessed.

As a child life specialist, I work directly with pediatric hospitalized patients. One of our goals is to make the hospital experience as positive as possible, which I feel mirrors that of this Soaringwords program so well! What better way to bring joy and smiles than with music and dancing?!? In addition, child life specialists in our hospital train our volunteers. When I was reading the Soaringwords’ Hospital Outreach Volunteer Resource Guide provided for this endeavor, I was very pleasantly surprised. While to some people the information provided may seem like common sense, it is not always the case. Volunteers may not have had any prior experience with hospitals and/or ill children, and the information in this packet was extremely appreciated. There are so many things to be aware of in a hospital setting, be it body language, speech, physical location. Any possible scenario that we try to paint for our volunteers was touched on in this Soaringwords Resource Manual. Hygiene, professional boundaries, and professionalism – I honestly could not find any piece of information that would need to be added. Thank you for putting together such a great resource. You met the needs of the volunteers by inspiring them, while also identifying the needs of the host facility. — Kerri Baker, ZIN™ Member and Certified Child Life Specialist, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Providence, RI

 

Everyone always enjoys the weekly Soaringwords classes. It can be seen in their smiles, dancing and laughter. Great Instructors! Powerful and Positive music! Encouraging and engaging with sensitivity! Thank you so very much for offering this program here for the patients. It is rewarding to observe. It is a blessing to know that it is offered as part of the healing for these patients. — Linda Goodale, Certified Child Life Specialist, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Providence, RI

 

Lisa, thank you so much for allowing us the opportunity to have this experience on our child psychiatric unit. So many of our children on this Child Psychiatric Unit come from broken homes, neglectful situations and family relationships where there is little to no positive recognition. Having outside people acknowledge our patients and take the time to meet them and offer positive interactions is invaluable. These good impressions will last a lifetime for these children

We are always happy to welcome you into our Children’s National family and we look forward to soaring and zumba’ing with you! The Soaringwords team has the most wonderful positive energy and spirit that truly lifts up the children in our psychiatric unit. The volunteers wear bright colors and always bring an interesting mix of music and styles to share with our patients. Once again the instructors were able to help our patients, families and staffs transcend the hospital experience. We appreciate your flexibility, patience, and enthusiasm that allow us to bring a bit of joy here at the hospital. We are so excited that you are a part of our Children’s National family and we look forward to many other visits soon! — Dana Kristina-Joi Morgan, Performance Coordinator Creative & Therapeutic Arts Services, Children’s National Health System, Washington D.C.

 

I am proud to be the person who brought Soaringwords to our hospital. Each month, since 2012, the Soaringwords + Zumba program has been a great intervention. The children, their families, and our Child Life crew anticipate the joy and laughter each month radiating from the Soaringwords team. We have fully embraced it~ the two ladies visit twice a month with their boom box. We travel room to room inviting the patients to Move with the Grove. The patients, even if they remain in their beds laugh as the Zumba team, family, nurses, and child life staff dance to rocking music! Sometimes the RNs travel with us. We “perform” at the Nurses’ Station for a moment or two to get them dancing and give them a moment of fun. We focus on the most appropriate patients on our PICU, In-Patient Hematology/Oncology Unit and General Pediatrics. The Girls (the hospital professionals on our team) always get a work out and don’t go to the gym that night. It is a way to get the patients moving without them really knowing it. — Ann Nancy Fogel, Child Life Coordinator at Broward Health, formerly Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, FL

 

Soaringwords + Zumba is amazing! The patients love it. You guys are the best thing that has happened to our program in years. So much appreciated. — Theresa Kelleher, Program Director, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Westchester, NY

Since 2004, our patients, their families, and our professional staff have benefited from Soaringwords lively and wonderful programs. Over the years, many Soaringwords delegations have donated SoaringQuilts and SoaringPillows and led expressive arts projects with our patients and families.

For the past five years, we have offered monthly Soaringwords + Zumba = Love for Hospitalized Children classes with hospitalized children and their families. Each program has two parts: first, the Soaringwords team leaders invite patients to create a different expressive arts project such as SoaringHaikus, SoaringSuperheroes, or SoaringGratitude Ladders. These art projects are powerful ice-breakers that inspire our patients to get in touch with their creativity and compassion as they are invited to donate their creations to other patients as part of the Soaringwords pay–it-forward philosophy. The patients are happy to do something fun and interesting that also makes them feel like they have something kind to offer another person.  Once everyone has finished the arts project, the Soaringwords team leads a customized, modified Zumba class that is appropriate for children of all abilities including children with mobility challenges or in wheelchairs.


Our Soaringwords team members are warm, professional and highly skilled. They are licensed to work with children (Zumba Kids) and they also are trained to work with children with physical challenges (Zumba Gold). I’ve seen the Soaringwords visitors treat each patient with enthusiasm, attention and care. We always see positive changes in attitude after the Soaringwords programs. Many family members love having the opportunity to see their children laugh and smile and also to participate in the dance experience or just clap along to the music. Another great benefit of the Soaringwords program is the positive boost it has on the health and wellness of our staff. Many nurses and aides enjoy “de-stressing with Soaringwords.”  It’s always poignant when we get the opportunity to do something fun and “normal” with our patients and their families. I recommend this program highly. — 
Tangi Brownlee, Child Life Specialist, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Ft. Lauderdale, FL    

 

Patients and families love Soaringwords! It is a nice change from our day-to-day activities. It is especially appreciated that the instructors adapt to different abilities. The instructors are always professional while being energetic and fun! I do think it is a nice option for those who may not participate in Zumba to be a part of the Soaringwords’ activities 🙂

The most powerful experience I have witnessed is seeing the instructor adapt for a patient in a wheelchair. This patient wanted to participate but I think felt embarrassed because she was not mobile. Seeing the instructor sit in a chair and instruct that way was truly touching and made all the difference for this patient. The Soaringwords + Zumba instructors who volunteer with Phoenix Children’s are amazing. That is the most consistent feedback I receive 🙂 — Julie Schwarz, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

 

Inova Children’s Hospital is very grateful to partner with Soaringwords to bring joy to the children here.  Soaringwords volunteers bring modified Zumba and crafts to children who are staying in the hospital.  Not only does it bring an activity to the kids, but it brings a whole new energy to the hospital.  The Soaringwords volunteers bring such positive upbeat energy that can really do wonders to change a child’s hospital stay.  We are thankful that Soaringwords has been a part of Inova for so long and we are excited to continue this beautiful partnership. — Jamie Gentille, MPH, CCLS, Director, Child Life Services, Inova Children’s Hospital, Falls Church, VA

 

Patients love the ability to interact with others and dance from their beds (or out of their beds if physical abilities permit). Parents/family members are always extremely grateful for the Soaringwords + Zumba visits and thank the volunteers for coming in. Some patients are shy and just watch while others get very into the visits and ask to do three or four songs. Some of our long-term patients look forward to the visits each month.

Within this past month, a patient who (according to family members) hadn’t gotten out of bed in the past couple days due to physical inability, was so excited about the prospect of dancing that she got out of the bed and attempted to stand on her own to dance. Her family members became emotional because they were so grateful and happy that something had motivated their child to want to get out of bed and try to move. The patient- with help from family members- danced to multiple songs and gave her “Zumba” sticker to her dad upon completion of the dances. — Megan Francis, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

For healthcare professionals

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When a hospitalized child or a child with a chronic illness is grappling with illness or loss in his or her family, these Soaringwords Book Club selections can be a powerful way for them to pass the time in fun and productive ways. We recommend that you invite the parents to tell the patient’s teachers about this opportunity to create a bridge between the student and the rest of the classroom.

All of these Book Club activities are perfect to share in the pediatric playroom, or invite patients to do on their own. There are many wonderful books about courage, resilience and people doing kind and thoughtful actions that are a perfect vehicle to elevate a child’s well-being and give an ill child the opportunity to do something positive and “pay it forward” for another person.   Each Book Club selection has companion activities that can be donated to other patients. Many times patients make projects for parents, siblings, friends, hospital roommates, nurses or doctors.These activities can also provide patients the opportunity to connect to the rest of his or her classmates. When Lisa’s son Jonathan missed four months of third grade, each week the students created GET WELL cards which actually made everyone feel pretty miserable. This well-intentioned action reminded Jonathan and all of his friends that he was still absent from school.  Instead of making get well cards, we recommend using the Book Club selections as an effective teaching tool to facilitate conversations about illness and loss in age-appropriate healing ways that will motivate students to share.  When a friend or classmate is ill or dies, often many students naturally tend to withdraw and not want to share their feelings.

All of these books and companion activities have been created with our Soaringwords Advisory Board and leaders in the field of positive psychology. We know that these activities will make a positive, healing care package that will elevate the patient/child who is away well-being and allow all your students to focus on taking positive action, rather than feeling hopeless.

For Healthcare Providers: Digging Deep

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Photo F Healthcare providerSoaringwords is proud to introduce a Soaringwords Book Club video series based on Digging Deep: A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges written by Rose Offner & Sheri Brisson.

Journaling is proven to enhance a patient’s sense of well-being as writing about the narratives of our lives is one of the most powerful means available for moving toward greater happiness (Tomasulo and Pawelski, 2012).

Three author interview videos share personal stories and pointers to using the journal. We created a special video for patients, a separate video for parents, and a third video for healthcare providers.

The authors combined their talents and experience — Rose is a successful author and Sheri is a brain-tumor survivor and successful businesswoman.

Soaringwords filmed six Digging Deep activity videos with patients and families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California and Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. These creative hands-on activity videos include Life Awards You where patients give themselves an award for being courageous, kind, or resilient; 100 Dreams and Desires; Good Fortunes where patients write their own fortune cookie messages; and Taking Out the Trash.

When patients engage in these projects it enhances their well-being. Interested in Digging Deep? Contact sheri@resonancehouse.org

Interview with Authors:

Once Upon a Time:

Good Fortunes:

100 Dreams and Desires:

Tricks Up My Sleeves:

Throwing Out The Trash:

Give Yourself an Award:

For teachers

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When a child in your classroom is ill or is encountering illness or loss in his or her family, these Soaringwords Book Club selections can be a bridge between the student and the rest of the classroom. There are many wonderful books about courage, resilience and people doing kind and thoughtful actions that are a perfect vehicle to connect the child who is missing school to the rest of his or her classmates. When Lisa’s son Jonathan missed four months of third grade, each week the students created GET WELL cards which actually made everyone feel pretty miserable. This well-intentioned action reminded Jonathan and all of his friends that he was still absent from school.  Instead of making get well cards, we recommend using the Book Club selections as an effective teaching tool to facilitate conversations about illness and loss in age-approriate healing ways that will motivate students to share.  When a friend or classmate is ill or dies, often many students naturally tend to withdraw and not want to share their feelings.

All of these books and companion activities have been created with our Soaringwords Advisory Board and leaders in the field of positive psychology. We know that these activities will make a positive, healing care package that will elevate the patient/child who is away well-being and allow all your students to focus on taking positive action, rather than feeling hopeless

Positive psychology books

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SeligmanPerhaps you’ve noticed that positive psychology seems to be everywhere. This relatively new field was started by Dr. Martin Seligman in 1998 she he declared at the opening session at the American Psychology Association (APA) that he was going to launch a new branch of psychology to study “what is right with people” (what enhances well-being, what makes us flourish, what makes us human) instead of simply focusing on the traditional, diagnostic model that centers around “what is wrong with people” and how to “treat or medicate” problems.

Soaringwords is an organization built on a Positive Psychology framework, beginning with its mission – to lessen the impact of serious illness by connecting ill children and their families to a community of compassionate volunteers who inspire them to “Never give up!”

In 2012-2013, Lisa Buksbaum, Soaringwords’ CEO & Founder, studied with Dr. Seligman. She received a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, her undergraduate alma mater.  Her master’s thesis was an empirical research study with hundreds of hospitalized children to measure the impact of a positive psychology intervention (the receiving and making of a SoaringSuperhero artwork and message) to enhance patient well-being. Read the thesis here. The conclusions included the creation of a new positive psychology construct called S-O-A-R which means that when patients are invited to do something Somatic they experience heightened Altruism and Agency, Resilience and Reciprocity.

Here you will find the latest and greatest positive psychology books by the leading experts in the field today.

Flourish
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being By Martin E. P. Seligman
Internationally esteemed psychologist Martin Seligman presents his dynamic new concept of what well-being really is. Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman’s game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character to show how to get the most out of life — for individuals, for communities, and for nations. In a fascinating evolution of thought and practice, Flourish refines what Positive Psychology is all about.

You will be able to experience the most popular (empirically validated) positive psychology interventions such as the Gratitude Visit; What –Went-Well Exercise; Signature Strengths Exercise; and Three Good Things. Scientific studies of many of these positive interventions have resulted in short and long-term increases in well-being.

Authentic Happiness
Authentic Happiness, By
Martin E. P. Seligman
Drawing on groundbreaking psychological research, Seligman shows how Positive Psychology is shifting the profession’s paradigm away from its narrow-minded focus on pathology, victimology, and mental illness to positive emotion, virtue and strength, and positive institutions.

This book provides lots of tools that you can use immediately such as Satisfaction About the Past survey; Optimism about the Future survey; and Happiness in the Present. Dr. Seligman provides many easy to use tools as Savoring and Mindfulness.  Marty includes a chapter on Character Strengths and Virtues and how to use your Signature Strengths. The third part of the book focuses on Mansions of Life: Work and Personal Satisfaction; Love; Raising Children; Meaning and Purpose.

love 2.0
Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become, By Barbara Fredrickson
We all know love matters, but in this groundbreaking book positive emotions expert Barbara Fredrickson shows us how much it matters to giving us micro-moments of connection. Even more than happiness and optimism, love holds the key to improving our mental and physical health as well as lengthening our lives.

Watch a conversation with Barbara Fredrickson and Soaringwords’ Founder Lisa Buksbaum talking about how Love 2.0 can transform your life… and it’s not what you think! 

Positivity
Positivity, By Barbara Fredrickson
World renowned researcher Dr. Barbara Fredrickson gives you the lab-tested tools necessary to create a healthier, more vibrant, and flourishing life through a process she calls “the upward spiral.”

You’ll discover:

  • What positivity is, and why it needs to be heartfelt to be effective
  • The ten sometimes surprising forms of positivity
  • Why positivity is more important than happiness
  • How positivity can enhance relationships, work, and health, and how it relieves depression, broadens minds, and builds lives
  • A discussion of the “negativity bias” how people are pre-disposed to negative things and how an approximate 3-to-1 “positivity ratio” is a key tipping point to enable you to experience more positivity in your life
  • That your own sources of positivity are unique and how to tap into them
  • How to calculate your current positivity ratio, track it, and improve it

 With Positivity, you’ll learn to see new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of yourself.

 Making Hope Happen
Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others, By Shane J. Lopez, PH.D. 
How do some people make good things happen and bounce back from setbacks? Why do they lead happier, healthier, more productive lives? It’s because they have hope—not because of luck, or intelligence, or money. So, what exactly is hope and how can you get it, too?

Using discoveries from the largest study of hopeful people ever conducted, world-renowned expert on the psychology of hope Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D., reveals that hope is not just an emotion but an essential life tool. Hope is also a leading indicator of success in relationships, academics, career, and business. With Making Hope Happen you can measure your level of hope and learn how to create and share it.

In this newest evolution of positive psychology, Dr. Lopez provides strategies for building a high-hope mind-set and shares uplifting stories of real people—parents, educators, entrepreneurs, young and old people with health challenges, and civic leaders— who create hope and who change their own lives as well as their schools, workplaces, and communities.

Making Hope Happen is for people who believe that the future can be better than the past or the present and who are looking for a way to make it so. The message is clear: Hope matters. Hope is a choice. Hope can be learned. Hope is contagious.

Watch a conversation with Shane Lopez and Soaringwords’ Founder Lisa Buksbaum talking about how Hope is an active process that you can learn how to use to elevate your life … rather than just sitting around and passively wishing for things to happen.

Happier
Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, By Tal Ben-Shahar
Can You Learn to Be Happy?
YES . . . according to the teacher of Harvard University’s most popular and life-changing course. One out of every five Harvard students has lined up to hear Tal Ben-Shahar’s insightful and inspiring lectures on that ever-elusive state: HAPPINESS.

HOW?
Grounded in the revolutionary “positive psychology” movement, Ben-Shahar ingeniously combines scientific studies, scholarly research, self-help advice, and spiritual enlightenment. He weaves them together into a set of principles that you can apply to your daily life. Once you open your heart and mind to Happier ’s thoughts, you will feel more fulfilled, more connected . . . and, yes, HAPPIER.

 Stumbling on Happiness
Stumbling on Happiness, By Dan Gilbert
In this brilliant, witty, and accessible book, renowned Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. Vividly bringing to life the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Gilbert reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there. With penetrating insight and sparkling prose, Gilbert explains why we seem to know so little about the hearts and minds of the people we are about to become.

The How of Happiness
The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, By Sonja Lyubomirsky
You see here a different kind of happiness book. The How of Happiness is a comprehensive guide to understanding the elements of happiness based on years of groundbreaking scientific research. It is also a practical, empowering, and easy-to-follow workbook, incorporating happiness strategies, exercises in new ways of thinking, and quizzes for understanding our individuality. Dr. Lyubomirsky does all of this in an effort to help us realize our innate potential for joy and ways to sustain it in our lives. Drawing upon years of pioneering research with thousands of men and women, The How of Happiness is both a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to people who have sought to take their happiness into their own hands.

The Myths of Happiness
The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does, By Sonja Lyubomirsky
In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky isolates the major turning points of adult life, looking to both successes (marriage, children, wealth) and challenges (divorce, financial ruin, illness) to reveal that our misconceptions about the impact of such events is perhaps the greatest threat to our long-term well-being.

By unpacking these myths, you will be liberated from negative thoughts that make you think that everyone else is experiencing a different reality than you are.

Happiness-A History
Happiness: A History, 
By Darrin M. McMahon
Today, human beings tend to think of happiness as a natural right. But they haven’t always felt this way. For the ancient Greeks, happiness meant virtue. For the Romans, it implied prosperity and divine favor. For Christians, happiness was synonymous with God. Throughout history, happiness has been equated regularly with the highest human calling, the most perfect human state. Yet it’s only within the past two hundred years that human beings have begun to think of happiness as not just an earthly possibility but also as an earthly entitlement, even an obligation. In this sweeping new book, historian Darrin M. McMahon argues that our modern belief in happiness is the product of a dramatic revolution in human expectations carried out since the eighteenth century.

The Happiness Hypothesis
The Happiness Hypothesis, By Jonathan Haidt
Jonathan Haidt skillfully combines two genres — philosophical wisdom and scientific research — delighting the reader with surprising insights. He explains, for example, why we have such difficulty controlling ourselves and sticking to our plans; and why no achievement brings lasting happiness. However, a few changes in your life can have profound effects, and why even confirmed atheists experience spiritual elevation. In a stunning final chapter, Haidt addresses the grand question “How can I live a meaningful life?” offering an original answer that draws on the rich inspiration of both philosophy and science.

How to Be a Positive Leader
How to be a Positive Leader, 
By Jane Dutton
Corrosive work relationships are like black holes that swallow up energy that people need to do their jobs. In contrast, high-quality relationships generate and sustain energy, equipping people to do work and do it well.

Grounded in solid research, this book uses energy as a measurement to describe the power of positive and negative connections in people’s experience at work. Author Jane Dutton provides three pathways for turning negative connections into positive ones that create and sustain employee resilience and flexibility, facilitate the speed and quality of learning, and build individual commitment and cooperation.

Through compelling and illustrative stories, Energize Your Workplace offers managers, executives, and human resource professionals the resources they need to build high-quality connections in the workplace.

Watch a conversation with Jane Dutton and Soaringwords’ Founder Lisa Buksbaum talking about how High Quality Connections can infuse each day with meaning and well-being, even in the midst of serious illness and other setbacks. Learn how strangers and hospital employees, other patients and family members can provide High Quality Connections that last for a few seconds and have a lasting impact.

Give and Take
Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, 
By Adam M. Grant Ph.D.
For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate in the role of a “taker”, a “matcher”, or a “giver”. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

Read here New York Times Magazine feature article on Adam Grant.

 A Primer in Positive Psychology
A Primer in Positive Psychology, By Christopher Peterson
Positive psychology is the scientific study of “what goes right in life,” from birth to death and at all stops in between. It is a newly launched approach within psychology that takes seriously the “examination of that which makes life most worth living.” Everyone’s life has peaks and valleys, and positive psychology does not deny the valleys.

This book is extremely user-friendly and used in most introductory courses on positive psychology at the University level. Dr. Peterson’s warmth and sense of humor radiate on every page. This is a terrific “starter-book” for an overview of the field.

Pursuing the Good Life
Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychology, 
By Christopher Peterson
In Pursuing the Good Life, one of the founders of positive psychology, Christopher Peterson, offers one hundred bite-sized reflections exploring the many sides of this exciting new field. With the humor, warmth, and wisdom that made him an award-winning teacher, Peterson takes readers on a lively tour of “the sunny side of the psychological street.” What are the roles played by positive emotions and happiness, by strengths of character, by optimism, and by good relationships with others? How can we pursue “the good life” in families, workplaces, schools, and sports, no matter who we are or where we live? With titles such as “You May Now Kiss the Bride–And Would You Like Fries With That?” and “How Can You Tell If Someone from France is Happy?” Peterson good-humoredly explores these questions and many others, including such diverse topics as the difference between employment and work, the value of doing the right thing, and why books matter, among other subjects.

MindSet
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, By Carol Dweck
Carol Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals both personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.

The Resilience Factor
The Resilience Factor: Seven Essential Skills For Overcoming Life’s Inevitable Obstacles, By Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté
The science in The Resilience Factor takes an extraordinary leap from the research introduced in the bestselling Learned Optimism a decade ago. Just as hundreds of thousands of people were transformed by “flexible optimism,” readers of this book will flourish, thanks to their enhanced ability to overcome obstacles of any kind. Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté are seasoned resilience coaches and, through practical methods and vivid anecdotes, they prove that resilience is not just an ability that we’re born with and need to survive, but a skill that anyone can learn and improve in order to thrive.

This book is overflowing with practical exercises for you to build your resilience and practice it with important people in your life.

Savoring
Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, By Fred B. Bryant and Joseph Veroff
This book is about savoring life—the capacity to attend to the joys, pleasures, and other positive feelings that we experience in our lives. The authors enhance our understanding of what savoring is and the conditions under which it occurs. Savoring provides a new theoretical model for conceptualizing and understanding the psychology of enjoyment and the processes through which people manage positive emotions. The authors review their quantitative research on savoring, as well as the research of others, and provide measurement instruments with scoring instructions for assessing and studying savoring.

The Science of Well Being
The Science of Well-Being, 
By Felicia Huppert, Nick Baylis, and Barry Keverne
How much do we know about what makes people thrive and societies flourish? While a vast body of research has been dedicated to understanding social problems and psychological disorders, we know remarkably little about the positive aspects of life, the things that make life worth living. This volume brings together the latest findings on the causes and consequences of human happiness and well-being. The book covers a wide variety of disciplines, encompassing evolutionary biology, positive psychology, economics and social science, neuroscience and peace studies. Contributors to the volume include some of the most distinguished scholars in the field: social scientist Robert Putnam, evolutionary psychiatrist Randolph Nesse, psychologist Howard Gardner, economist Robert Frank, the founder of the Positive Psychology movement Martin Seligman, and the economic psychologist and Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman.

Spiritual Evolution
Spiritual Evolution: How We Are Wired for Faith, Hope and Love, 
By George Vaillant
In our current era of holy terror and divisiveness and dogma between different religious factions, often “passionate faith” has come to seem like a present danger. Contemporary writers such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens have been happy to throw the baby out with the bathwater and declare that the danger is in religion itself.

According to George E. Vaillant, M.D., “man is great.” In Spiritual Evolution, Dr. Vaillant lays out a brilliant defense not of organized religion but of man’s inherent spirituality. Our spirituality, he shows, resides in our uniquely human brain design and in our innate capacity for emotions like love, hope, joy, forgiveness, and compassion, which are selected for by evolution and located in a different part of the brain than dogmatic religious belief. Evolution has made us spiritual creatures over time, he argues, and we are destined to become even more so. Spiritual Evolution makes the scientific case for spirituality as a positive force in human evolution, and he predicts for our species an even more loving future.

Vaillant traces this positive force in three different kinds of “evolution”: the natural selection of genes over millennia, of course, but also the cultural evolution within recorded history of ideas about the value of human life, and the development of spirituality within the lifetime of each individual. For thirty-five years, Dr. Vaillant directed Harvard’s famous longitudinal study of adult development, which has followed hundreds of men over seven decades of life. The study has yielded important insights into human spirituality, and Dr. Vaillant has drawn on these and on a range of psychological research, behavioral studies, and neuroscience, and on history, anecdote, and quotation to produce a book that is at once a work of scientific argument and a lyrical meditation on what it means to be human.

Spiritual Evolution is a life’s work, and it will restore our belief in faith as an essential human striving.

Learned Optimism
Learned Optimism, 
By Martin E. P. Seligman
In this national bestseller, Martin E.P. Seligman shows you how to chart a new approach to living with “flexible optimism.”

The Optimistic Child
The Optimistic Child, 
By Martin E. P. Seligman
The Optimistic Child offers parents and teachers the tools developed in this study to teach children of all ages life skills that transform helplessness into mastery and bolster self-esteem.

Flow
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 
By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The exhaustive case studies, controlled experiments and innumerable references to historical figures, philosophers and scientists through the ages prove Csikszentmihalyi’s point that flow is a singularly productive and desirable state.

Character Strengths and Virtues
Character Strengths and Virtues, By Christopher Peterson
The handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits.

Before Happiness
Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change, 
By Shawn Achor
In his international bestseller, The Happiness Advantage, Harvard trained researcher Shawn Achor described why happiness is the precursor to greater success. This book is about what comes before both.  Because before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible. Only once we learn to see the world through a more positive lens can we summon all our motivation, emotion, and intelligence to achieve our personal and professional goals.

The Happiness Advantage
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, By Shawn Achor
Our most commonly held formula for success is broken. Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. We believe that “If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds,” then happiness will follow. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe. In other words, it works!

WONDER By R.J. Palacio

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Wonder

Sometimes illness or situations in life make people uncomfortable when someone is “different” than us or when someone may be struggling. What advice do you have for other people to look beyond the outside appearance of people and recognize the values, hopes and dreams that we all share?

1) How did the book change the way you feel about outward appearances of other teens or people? What do you like and appreciate the most about the main character, August Pullman (“Auggie”)?

2) What are Auggie’s signature strengths?

3) Throughout the book, you observe many acts of kindness. List some of the things you most enjoyed from each of these characters and what character strengths you appreciated the most about each person. (Summer, Auggie’s loyal friend; Mr. Tushman, the Principal; Olivia (“Via”) Pullman, Auggie’s sister; Auggie’s parents: Isabel and Nate; Jack Will, Auggie’s best friend; How did these kind actions inspire you to be more of your best possible self?

4) There were many times that strangers or mean people like Julian, the primary antagonist, did things that were insensitive and cruel just to hurt Auggie’s feelings and to make them feel superior. Sometimes strangers laugh or point at someone who is physically or mentally different than they are, because these people don’t know what to do or say. We’ve all witnessed acts of meanness and disrespect whether in school, on the sports field, or in TV shows or movies. List five examples when you “caught someone in the act of doing something nice.”

5) Write a message to Auggie telling him what you appreciate the most about him.

6) List five examples of when you did something kind for another person or a stranger.

 

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS By John Green

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Fault in our stars


Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters (“Gus”) are both dealing with cancer and the medical challenges of their illness.

1) What character strengths do Hazel and Gus embody?

2) What inspires you the most about each of these characters?

3) There are other characters in the book who do kind things. (Hazel’s mom and dad, Lidewij, the nice lady who worked for Mr. Van Houten). List the character strengths for each one of these people.

4) What are your signature strengths? Take the VIA Character Strengths test here to discover your very own character strengths. After you read the report of your top five signature strengths, list two ways you can use more of each of your signature strengths in the next two weeks.

5) Write down how you can use these strengths.

6) Hazel and Gus truly appreciate each other and the many blessings and positive things in their lives. What is the positive, hopeful message or lesson that you can take from The Fault in Our Stars?

7) This book contains many loving instances of kindness: between Hazel and Gus; the respect and love that Hazel’s parents express; and the love and loyalty that Gus shows his friend Isaac. Think about three acts of kindness that happened to you in the past for which you are grateful.

8) Write a Gratitude letter to someone you have not thanked for doing something (small or large) that made a difference in your life. The person can be a teacher, family member, friend or a stranger who did something kind.

Because Amelia Smiled By David Ezra Stein

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because_amelia_smiledLaughter is contagious. This book will show you the healing power of one girl’s smile to motivate a chain-reaction of happiness all around the world.

On every page of this beautiful picture book, you will see the impact that one person’s smile and kindness can have to inspire people to do something nice for others. At Soaringwords we know that this “pay it forward” spiral of positive action has a positive cascading impact on your physical and mental well-being. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that when you experience kindness your body makes more oxytocin (the happy hormone) and your cortisol levels (the ones that rise when you are feeling really stressed out) go down. So run and pick up this book and start to smile and create your very own domino effect of happiness and joy.

1) Many of the examples in the book were stories about how a kind act was given to a stranger. Think about the past two days and list three kind things that people have done to make your smile. Did someone hold open an elevator door for you? Did someone give you a really special greeting when they saw you? The examples you choose can be really small or large.

2) Pick one of the examples and draw a picture.

3) Think about three good things that you have done in the past week that made someone else smile. Maybe you worked really hard on a goal and were able to make progress, perhaps you did something nice for another person. It can be anything, big or small. Pick one of the examples and draw a picture.

 

Guidelines for Creating SoaringPuppets®

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You are invited to decorate simple brown paper lunch bags and transform them into cute, funny and creative bag puppets for the kids in the hospital to play with. SoaringPuppets can help keep the hospitalized children company, distract them from the hospital routine and inspire them to create a puppet show and make their own puppet. You can make your favorite animal, a funny face or just decorate it with lots of colors and shapes. Turn the bag over and write an inspiring message for a child in the hospital and write your name. Have fun!

photo 2 (2)

 Bag puppets Materials:

  • Paper lunch bags
  • Small cotton balls or colorful fuzzy balls
  • Construction paper
  • Glue Markers Scissors

Instructions:

Decorate your paper bag using the materials! Use your imagination and make it fun and colorful! Turn the bag over and write an inspiring message for a child in the hospital and write your name on the Soaringwords nametag!

Created with flickr badge.

Character Strengths

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chracter strengths 7.30.14

Why Character Strengths matter.

What are the unique traits that differentiate one person from another?
What is “the essence of me” that makes me unique and unlike anyone else?

Throughout history, these questions have been asked by leading philosophers and thinkers such as Aristotle. In addition, over the centuries, the world’s great religions, hundreds of cultures, and modern scientists have examined and valued character strengths. Character strengths and virtues are capabilities that humans have for thinking, feeling and behaving (Peterson and Seligman, 2004). These unique character strengths are the way we separate ourselves from animals and display our virtues or human essence.

Modern scientists have come up with a list of 24 character strengths:

1.Creativity (originality, ingenuity)
2.Curiosity (interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience)
3.Judgment (critical thinking)
4.Love of Learning
5.Perspective (wisdom)
6.Bravery (valor)
7.Perseverance (persistence, industriousness)
8.Honesty (authenticity, integrity)
9.Zest (vitality, enthusiasm, vigor, energy)
10.Love
11.Kindness (generosity, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”)
12.Social Intelligence (emotional intelligence, personal intelligence)
13.Teamwork (citizenship, social responsibility, loyalty)
14.Fairness
15.Leadership
16.Forgiveness
17.Humility
18.Prudence
19.Self-Regulation (self-control)
20.Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence (awe, wonder, elevation)
21.Gratitude
22.Hope (optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation)
23.Humor (playfulness)
24.Spirituality (faith, purpose)

Strength and greatness are inside of everyone. Each person is different from everyone else. Today you are going to pick a character strength that reminds you of you!

We want you to think of your own ideas to illustrate your character strength. Use your imagination!

Here’s How to Get Started:

1. Choose a Character Strength that describes you. Check out the VIA Character Strength website for ages 10-17 and adults.
2. Write the name of your Character Strength on the top of the page and then draw your Character Strength on the Soaringwords Border, using lots of colors.
3. Write your name and age on the bottom.

Pointers:

Do fill the entire page with your picture and message.
Do make your picture really bright and colorful.

character-strengths-form