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18.4.2024 |

Free School Wellbeing Program available for California public middle and high schools

GiveThx, a California educational nonprofit, was recently awarded a $750,000 grant from California’s Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative. GiveThx will provide its School Wellbeing Program to 30 California public middle and high schools for the 2024-2025 school year.

Interested schools or districts can apply for one of the 30 grant-funded spots by May 31. For more information, read more about the grant opportunity. 

GiveThx is a digital program that strengthens student wellbeing and social emotional skills through gratitude science. The program consists of a suite of professional development sessions to train teachers on social-emotional skills, alongside a digital platform that encourages students and teachers to actively practice gratitude by exchanging thank-you notes. 

"GiveThx allows students and staff to have an authentic connection with each other that supports a sense of community, personal relationships, and safety."

GiveThx’s method is currently being used in 40 schools in six US states and has helped them to build positive relationships and inclusive school communities. As one principal expressed, “GiveThx allows students and staff to have an authentic connection with each other that supports a sense of community, personal relationships, and safety. It is an awesome tool in our teaching practice that clearly supports social-emotional learning." 

Research has shown that by just using GiveThx for 6 weeks, student mental health improved, students’ ability to express gratitude increased, and students showed higher levels of life and friendship satisfaction. Using GiveThx also decreased anxiety, negativity, depression, and stress for high school students. 

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Mike Fauteux and Students in GiveThx programme

GiveThx was founded in 2018 when Mike Fauteux, a 9th grade math teacher in Oakland, noticed how important it was to teach social emotional learning alongside math in order to get his students to learn at grade level. He saw how gratitude helped his students feel safe and connected, creating conditions where they felt safe thereby reinforcing actions that accelerated students’ learning. 

Seeing how impactful this method was, he developed GiveThx to scale the approach to more schools. Through the hard work and dedication of the GiveThx team, the organisation has been growing and spreading to more and more schools in the United States. 

As such, this $750,000 grant from California’s Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative is a huge step for the GiveThx team to nearly double their impact during the coming school year. 

“We are thrilled and grateful for the resources and opportunity to strengthen the mental health and sense of belonging for 15,000 more California middle and high school students in the coming school year,” says GiveThx’s Executive Director, Mike Fauteux.

In 2022, GiveThx was featured in HundrED’s Policy Report on Social & Emotional Learning, which highlighted 13 innovations with impactful and scalable solutions that ensure safe learning environments, foster caring and nurturing relationships, and are responsive to learners’ needs. 

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HundrED Policy Report on Social & Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) supports children's holistic development, well-being and life outcomes (increased academic achievement, increased income, increased employment, better health outcomes, etc). HundrED is looking for innovations supporting student wellbeing in our Spotlight on Wellbeing in Schools until May 1st 2024. If you are working on something that supports student wellbeing, submit your innovation for consideration.

Jamie Lee