St. Michael Catholic School, Roberts Elementary School, Kolter Elementary School, and Awty International School Join Program

+Works® to Impact  6,600 Houston Schoolchildren and Their Families This Year; Building +™Waiting List

HOUSTON, TX — OCTOBER 12, 2011 — +Works® (pronounced Positive Works), a Houston-based, parent-driven, nonprofit organization on a mission to get ahead of America’s bullying epidemic with positive talk and action, today announced its final roster of aspiring +™Schools for the 2011-12 school year.  This roster, which includes public, private, and parochial schools in the Houston area, represents an intense grassroots effort begun in May 2010 and fueled by passionate parents, administrators, teachers, coaches, counselors, social workers, pediatricians, mental health practitioners and other concerned citizens to raise awareness of and break the frame on the bullying issue.

The +Works® +™School Distinction Program (2011-12)

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School
St. Paul’s School
Mark Twain Elementary School
Pershing Middle School
Durham Elementary School
St. Michael Catholic School
Roberts Elementary School
Kolter Elementary School
Awty International School

Three-Year Process That Focuses on Fundamentals, Culture, and Sustainability

The +School Distinction program is a three-year program designed to focus a school community’s attention on the importance of managing power dynamics and power struggles in a way that creates a high sense of well-being for everyone in the community, and for children in particular.

“A positive school is a school that children are excited to go to everyday,” said Dr. Stuart Twemlow, international school climate expert, author of the book Why School Antibullying Programs Don’t Work, and +Works Medical Director. “We believe it takes an entire community — parents, caregivers, educators, coaches, government, business and professional leaders — all working together to create this kind of environment for children.  It is incredibly important work that, if taken seriously, can change the way a community sees itself and its responsibility to raise healthy, resilient, altruistic, and successful citizens.”

+Works opened up the application process for three additional schools this summer and decided to add a fourth due to the enthusiasm of the applicants. “Our new public, private, and parochial schools are eager to work together within their respective school communities but also within their wider Houston community,” said Sarah Fisher, CEO, +Works.  “We saw tremendous leadership and buy-in from parents, administration, and staff in our new schools and are excited to work closely with each of them this year.”

“Our implementation of the +Works philosophy supports our goal to foster in our students the values of respect, responsibility, compassion, and acceptance,” said Mrs. Chris Skowronek, Principal of St. Michael Catholic School.

“As our children face cultural and social issues far different from those we faced as children, as adults, our tools must change too. We are thrilled to become part of the solution,” said Mrs. Rita Graves, Principal of Roberts Elementary School.

“We are very enthusiastic about our new partnership with +Works! The strong collaborative approach with deep involvement from parents will shape a mindset that will truly make a difference in the emotional well-being of all Kolter students,” said Mrs. Peggi Stewart, Principal of Kolter Elementary School.

“I am looking forward to the important role +Works will play in enhancing and meshing with the efforts of the entire Awty community as we seek to form outstanding young men and women who are respectful, resilient, understanding, and focused on the needs of others,” said Dr. Stephen Codrington, Headmaster of Awty International School.

The +Works approach is a three-phase process. +™Year/Level One focuses on fundamentals and cements the key program tenets with all members of the community.  +™Parenting and +™Teaching Guides provide science-based information and tools to assist adults in finding a common language and platform upon which to discuss school/community climate  issues, including bullying. +Works will present a series of +™Talks to school communities throughout this school year to spark positive community conversations. Annual evaluation, the formation of a +™Team, a unique visual reminder campaign, and monthly +™Roundtable meetings of school leaders round out the first year program.

+™Year/Level Two focuses on customizing to the school culture. Every school has unique values, traditions, and culture. The +Works program is a mindset, not a curriculum. In the second year, aspiring +™School teams will work to wrap their culture around the +Works mindset in a sustainable way that reflects their community’s individuality. In the spring of+™Year Two, school teams will present their creative community approaches to their +™Roundtable. +™Year/Level Three will focus on maintaining the positive mindset and ensuring that the newly established framework continues to evolve, stays fresh and relevant, and is sustainable over time.

Schools completing each level successfully will receive a banner. Schools achieving the +™School Distinction will receive a large +™School flag to fly above their school and the right to apply the +™School brand to their school materials for three years. Schools will evaluate annually and reapply every three years to maintain +™GoodStanding.

+™Waiting List Forming Now

+Works will continue to meet with interested schools throughout this school year and form a waiting list concurrent with its funding efforts.  “We are actively seeking funding from corporations, private foundations, and individuals,” said Fisher.  “We need significant funding to bring on paid staff to expand our school program in the quality manner in which it was started.”  Co-Founders Fisher and Trish Morille will continue to work for +Works on a 100% pro bono basis.  Interested schools or PTO/A’s should contact +Works at aware@positivethinkingworks.org.


Sarah Fisher, Co-Founder & CEO      Tel:  832.260.3131     aware@positivethinkingworks.org

Trish Morille, Co-Founder & EVP      Tel: 713.540.2529