Mechanicville City School District Embracing The Positivity Project

This story originally appeared on NEWS10 ABC / FOX 23.



Host (00:00):

Well 2020, certainly has been a year. Could all agree on that and also agree. We could use a little bit more positivity in our lives, especially our students, as teachers look to shape the leaders of tomorrow, they’re getting some help from a couple of guys who know a thing or two about leadership. This is The Positivity Project.

Mike Erwin, co-founder and Chairman of the Board (00:17):

Character strengths. There’s 24 of them. They exist within everyone.

Host (00:22):

The Positivity Project, or simply The P2 was created by Mike Erwin, who you see here and Jeff Bryan.  They met as cadets at West Point. After multiple tours in Iraq, both men wanted to continue to serve their country in a meaningful way and The P2 was born.

Jeff Bryan, co-founder and CEO:

Increasing political polarization, increasing loneliness, mental health issues, and wondering, you know, what can help those things. And, you know, that’s why our mission is to empower America’s youth to build positive relationships and become their best selves. 


A simple pre-packed curriculum is distributed to partner schools for daily 15 minute lessons that focus on those 24 character strengths in the idea that other people matter. Locally, the Mechanicville School District rolled out the program this year. 

Bruce Potter, Superintendent of Mechanicville City School District (01:14):

I’ve done a lot of research about the impact of social, emotional learning on academics. Not only does it help students from a mental health aspect, they perform better.  P2 happens to be a wonderful vehicle and we couldn’t be happier to be a partner. 


Mechanicville is the only district in the country, believe it or not, that offers P2 across the board, K through 12. And, both principals say the kids are embracing it. 

Michael Mitchell, MCSD Junior/Senior High School Principal:

This is not just the school program. We, we are working with the community on, on paying it forward and doing different events to, to help our kids understand what it means to be a good citizen. 

Chris Turico, MCSD Elementary Principal:

And you have, your kindergartner learning about it now, it’s going to be engrossed in their language by the time they hit third grade. And that’s just going to be part of your everyday conversation like, “today, Dad, I was brave. Today I showed compassion.” So I’m excited to see where it goes. 


You know, we’ve already featured one of the students who’s a P2 ambassador at the high school, his name’s Sam Sanchez who had a hot chocolate stand on Halloween and donated the money to the Mechanicville Police PBA. And they’ve had success. I mean, the program’s only been in existence for five years. They started with one school. They’re now in over 600 across 30 States.

Host #2 (02:10):

It’s incredible. Just teaching them from such a young age to give back, to be selfless, to build that character.  Yeah, other people matter. Yeah. That’s fantastic.