Peace (Over and) Out: Positive Ladies to Wrap Up Their +Work This Summer, After Seven Years

Parent-driven Movement Rallied Sixteen Public, Private, Parochial School Communities to Inspire Courage, Kindness

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Students hold handmade positive signs at St. Augustine Catholic School.

JANUARY 30, 2017 — HOUSTON, TX — +Works (pronounced Positive Works) today announced it will conclude its community work in June 2017 after seven years of rallying public, private, and parochial school communities to proactively address bullying and other challenging issues impacting families and schools.

“It has been our joy as mothers and activists to work with families and schools to help create communities of courage and kindness,” said Sarah Fisher, +Works Cofounder and CEO. “When we started +Works in 2010, it was taboo, even embarrassing, to speak of bullying beyond the kitchen table or outside the counselor’s office. We have learned so much since then, most importantly that bullies only do what bystanders allow and that adults must lead the way in showing kids the importance of speaking up and finding their voices.”

“We all know what to do — now it’s up to each of us to carry on this work”

“We are proud to have led a movement that contributed to giving people of all ages the words and the courage to speak up in a helpful way,” said Cofounder Trish Morille. “We are so grateful to all our supporters and say, ‘We know what to do. Now it’s up to each of us to carry on this work.’”

St. Augustine Catholic School is the sixteenth and final school community to join the +Works program since 2010. A Catholic, co-educational school in Houston, St. Augustine serves 250 students and their families from PK3 through grade 8.  St. Augustine’s decision to join the program felt to Fisher and Morille like the program had come full-circle. “St. Augustine’s principal and faculty share the same enthusiasm Trish and I felt so passionately at the beginning of our grass roots, parent-driven journey in 2010,” said Fisher.

“+Works empowers us to be the best version of ourselves”

“Embracing positivity in our thoughts, words, and actions is necessary in order to appreciate light amid a darkened world. In this way, we can identify the beauty of the stars even in the darkest night,” said St. Augustine teacher Jessie Graehler.

“+Works enables those who feel voiceless to find their voice and enables them to speak the words they need to become strong and confident in intimidating situations,” said St. Augustine Principal Denise Rios.

“I love the +Works program because it empowers us to be the best version of ourselves,” said teacher Madeleine Ellard.

+Works has offered school stakeholders a unique framework for reflecting on the kind of community they want to be. The program posed five key questions for discussion among educators, parents, teachers, coaches, staff, and students:

• Whom do we want to be as a +School Community?

• How can I find my +Voice as an individual and help others to find theirs?

• How can we wrap our unique culture and tradition around the +Mindset?

• How can we gently remind each other when we get off track?

• Will we make a daily commitment to this +Change process?

+Works will actively support the schools currently in the program through the end of this 2016-17 academic year.

For more information on +Works, contact +Works CEO Sarah Fisher at aware@positivethinkingworks.org or visit positivethinkingworks.org.

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About +Works

In May 2010, long-time friends, moms of two, and award-winning marketing professionals Sarah Fisher and Trish Morille converted their ongoing family frustrations around the bullying issue into positive action within their own homes and in the Houston community.  What began as a unique, integrated family and school program laser-focused on student bullying has evolved into a ground-breaking, upbeat, creative, hands-on, “roundtable” approach that is sparking fresh conversations around the trending issues that keep adults — and kids — up at night and around “who” school communities and organizations want to be. +Works family, school, business and nonprofit organization members agree: if we want to raise vibrant, resilient, productive children, we have to get real, lock arms and work together from home to homeroom, from home plate to the boardroom.  For the last seven years, Fisher and Morille spearheaded the +Effort on a 100 percent pro bono basis — with joy. They will conclude their active community work in June 2017.

Public, private and parochial schools who have joined the +Works program since 2010:

Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, Texas

Durham Elementary School (HISD), Houston, Texas

Frostwood Elementary School (SBISD), Houston, Texas

Kolter Elementary School (HISD), Houston, Texas

Mark Twain Elementary School (HISD), Houston, Texas

Pershing Middle School (HISD), Houston, Texas

River Oaks Baptist School, Houston, Texas

Roberts Elementary School (HISD), Houston, Texas

S.C. Red Elementary School (HISD), Houston, Texas

St. Augustine Catholic School, Houston, Texas

St. Laurence Catholic School, Sugar Land, Texas

St. Mark’s Episcopal School, Houston, Texas

St. Michael Catholic School, Houston, Texas

St. Paul’s School, Houston, Texas

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, Houston, Texas

The Awty International School, Houston, Texas