Where did the Get Happier School start?
Five years ago we partnered with Loyola Marymount University (LMU) to establish a research project into the effectiveness of the program in elementary schools. Our initial pilot school was the Loyola Village School in Los Angeles with support from Dr Krishna Smith, the principal.
The research and implementation was managed by Dr Bradley Smith (LMU), Carleen Glasser (William Glasser Institute), and Dr Brandi Roth (Psychologist to the stars and independent reviewer). The teaching and whole school implementation and was delivered by Katja Dzindzinovic (teacher extraordinaire) from Slovenia. Katja was supported by university students in delivering what is now our Grade 2/3 program in the new Get Happier School Program.
I briefly interviewed two of the student facilitators and these interviews are below.
The results of the pilot project showed us:
- The importance of a whole school approach for developing mental health and wellbeing,
- The need to support teachers and parents to ensure the effectiveness of the program,
- The children were really engaged by the resources and program and the university student mentors reported immediate changes in the children,
- The mentors told us that they learned so much themselves and wished they had learned this when they were young. They envisioned that the program would grow into something much bigger and encouraged us to build the Get Happier School Program.
We are very grateful for the support of all the people involved in the pilot program and we are excited that a school district in the USA is now using the whole school program, with more schools coming on board this year!