Opinion: The Positivity Project is hard on students


Halee Alexander, Writer

The Positivity Project was founded by two U.S. veterans, Mike Erwin and Jeff Bryan. The West Point graduates served time in Afghanistan and Iraq. After retiring, Erwin and Bryan wanted to continue serving their country. According to the Positivity Project website, this could best be done “by empowering America’s youth to build positive relationships by seeing the good in themselves and others.”

Fenton High partnered with The Positivity Project for the 2020-2021 school year. The new assistant principal for FHS, Zachery Bradley, was an advisor for the Positivity Project in his years at Grand Blanc High.

In previous years at other school districts, The Positivity Project was implemented a little differently. 

“Students could drop-in from week to week to understand, connect, and apply the character strengths,” Bradley said. “As a group, we came up with ideas on how we could give back to our school and the local community.”

“Giving back to the community during COVID-19 has been difficult to do, with the limitations and safety precautions outlined in our district,” Bradley said, “that is in no way a dig at the decisions that were implemented.”

Finding ways to safely and fully implement this project has proven to be difficult. 

“It is up to us to get creative,” Bradley said, “we’re using social media, virtual meetings, family engagement strategies and virtual community partnerships/events” 

Forcing the involvement of the student body through the means of social media and virtual meetings, students are finding that this project is adding more to their workload and taking up valuable Student Resource Time (SRT). 

“Having six classes to worry about is stressful,” junior Emma Novak said. “During SRT, I love being able to receive help from teachers over my assignments, I rely on that time to study and complete those assignments.” 

SRT has been limited this year as it is. While The Positively Project is a great idea, it takes more of the limited time offered to students to complete their homework within school hours, which can cause more stress on students.  

With additional stress on the students going forward, especially nearing the end of marking period and eventually coming up on exams, the Positivity Project could take away part of the students time and energy that could be focused on their core classes.