alexa Happiness At School™: Bringing Joy To The Classroom One Laugh At A Time
ISSN: 2161-0487

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy
Open Access

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17th World Summit on Positive Psychology, Psychotherapy & Cognitive Behavioral Sciences
May 01-03, 2017 Toronto, Canada

Susan Stephenson
Sue Stephenson Productions Inc., Canada
University of Guelph, Canada
University of Toronto, Canada
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Psychol Psychother
DOI: 10.4172/2161-0487-C1-012
Abstract
The Happiness at School™ Project uses stand-up comedy in the classroom to promote literacy, well-being and mental health. It was first developed by Sue Stephenson in 2013 with co-developers Lead Comedian Coaches Marc Hallworth and Kyle Woolven with support of staff and students at North Kipling Middle School in the Toronto District School Board in Ontario, Canada. The project is expanding each year and this year so far has reached over 500 students. Overall, the project has the following goals for grades 7 to 10: 1. Develop high-level oral and writing for performing literacy skills; 2. Develop character strengths, including creativity, gratitude, humour and collaboration; 3. Build resiliency and relationships to cope with adversity; 4. Learn to promote positive mental health and well-being; 5. Improve school morale for both students and staff by promoting caring and healthy classroom environments, and by increasing students’ self-confidence; 6. Reduce bullying by focusing on healthy and non-hurtful humour. It is based on the PERMA model of positive psychology, and teachers and students love it, because it focuses on character strengths of self-regulation, humour and gratitude and brings students out of their shells. Humour and play is a character strength that is under-valued, but critical to learning, at any age.
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