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Build inclusive schools one thank you at a time

GiveThx is a digital program that strengthens student and educator wellbeing and social-emotional skills through gratitude. Students and staff use digital thank you notes and research-backed lessons to nurture mental health and improve academic success. GiveThx creates positive relationships and inclusive school communities where all students feel safe, valued, and connected.

Spotlight 2022


Web presence






Target group
January 2024
Everyone deserves to be recognized and appreciated for who they are.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

All humans crave connection. We want to feel like we belong, like we are seen and valued for who we are. Connection and wellbeing are particular challenges for young people, exacerbated by the pandemic. We created GiveThx as a student-centered, strengths-based, safe way to nurture connection and mental health for students of all identities, essential conditions for personal and academic growth.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Students use GiveThx to share digital notes of appreciation with peers, reflect on feedback, and identify strengths. Teachers facilitate activities to develop positive, healthy behaviors and relationships. Students see all of their Thx notes in one place sorted by reason and discover previously invisible patterns about how their actions impact others.

Developed for and by students in low-income, high-trauma communities, GiveThx is grounded in safety, equity, and inclusion and consists of three components:

1. A multi-year, student-centered curriculum that builds skills and reinforces positive behaviors to improve mental health, connection, and academics
2. An engaging and accessible digital platform that leverages gratitude and technology to create a safe and positive classroom culture.
3. A set of educator trainings that empower teachers and nurture their own social-emotional skills.

A 2020 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology attests to the impact of the program.

How has it been spreading?

GiveThx supported the wellbeing of over 20,000 students around the world in the last two years, primarily spreading by word of mouth. A 2020 research study ( found that GiveThx improved student mental health and life and friendship satisfaction while decreasing anxiety, negativity, depression, and stress. GiveThx was one of eight social-emotional learning companies accepted in the 2020 AT&T Aspire Accelerator and one of ten members of the 2019 New Schools Venture Fund Expanded Definition of Student Success cohort.

Our goals for the next 2-3 years included supporting over 200,000 students as we scale our program and extending our work to parents. Student caregivers are crucial partners in child SEL who will strengthen our impact by being directly included.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Anyone interested in GiveThx should explore our open resources ( to begin benefiting right away and better understand the program. Those wishing to bring GiveThx to their learning community should ensure school leadership is open to the program and its approach and reach out to GiveThx here to get started (

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Through GiveThx, students can send digital thank you notes to recognize positive behaviors, reinforce connections, and appreciate other students, teachers and staff members. This innovation is very easy to implement in the school context and has proven great impact in promoting student wellbeing, strengthening school culture and creating a supportive environment for the community.

HundrED Academy Reviews

In my classroom (Finland), I have noticed that starting the lesson with positive feedback makes a big difference. Students are more open-minded, motivated and willing to learn. This innovation enhances those features.

The online platform for identifying and giving gratitude to others for specific, competency-based actions is particularly promising for scalability. The online platform could easily be replicated and adapted through the specific tags for each school.

- Academy member
Academy review results
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Implementation steps

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Spread of the innovation

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