Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Service Learning Projects

Title

Flourishing Together: Future Considerations for the 12.14 Foundation

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

6-13-2020

Abstract

The 12.14 Foundation is a non-profit organization created following the tragic school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. Founded by a local citizen and physician, the 12.14 Foundation seeks to foster children's grit and resilience through a character development curriculum called ARC (representing the three pillars of the program: awareness, resilience, and confidence), coupled with NewArts, a high-level theater-based mastery experience. While hundreds of children have benefitted from the 12.14 Foundation program, it appears the theater mastery experience has come to dominate the program, while the ARC curriculum—what the founder considers the heart and core of the 12.14 experience—is viewed simply as a required stepping stone to take part in the theater production. With the ultimate goal of increasing impact by scaling mastery experiences beyond theater and its program geographically outside of Newtown, we recommend the 12.14 Foundation bolster its ARC curriculum through parent and supporting adult involvement and ongoing engagement. We suggest measuring the impact of supporting adult engagement and program effectiveness by identifying supporting adults who attend the proposed immersion session and comparing their child’s pre and post measures to those children who experience less involvement from supporting adults. We believe in doing so, the 12.14 Foundation may effectively build the case that their program contributes to participants’ more generalized mastery experiences and promotes flourishing for both adults and children in the program.

Keywords

grit, resilience, mastery experience, parental engagement, well-being, flourishing, positive psychology, scaling

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Date Posted:13 June 2020