Tag Archives: SEL



Originally published in the Huffington Post – July 11, 2013 No matter what obstacles appear, happiness, in one form or another, can always be accessed, from the inside. The good news is that the more we train our brains to recognize happiness triggers, the more we become attuned to the good feelings they evoke. Today, let’s look through the alphabet to the letter “I”, to focus on intuition, intention and one of my personal favorites, inspiration. Intuition Your time is … Continue reading

The Alphabet of Happiness: The Letter ‘H’


Even throughout the busy pace of everyday life, happiness is always close at hand. Rather than pursuing it, consider focusing in one place… inside. The good news is that by placing our attention on inner happiness, we train our brain to experience more of it. This week, let’s explore the letter “H” – Hope, Honesty and Health. Continue reading

Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: Empathy


Empathy is gaining attention as an important component of emotional intelligence and as a way to reduce bullying. When a person learns to understand and share the feelings of another, the pro-social behavior that results shows up in better relationships, closer friendships and stronger communities! Continue reading

Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: Ninja Mastery or Emotional Management


What if your kids could learn that managing their emotions gives them a real advantage in school, in relationships and in life in general? Like ninja masters, they can train themselves to harness their inner resources and redirect their energy to successfully deal with the challenges that come their way. In this article we’ll explore some approaches that can help. Continue reading

Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: The Power of Perspective


Perspective counts! While we cannot necessarily change the circumstances in our lives, we can absolutely influence our attitudes and perspectives towards them. The lens through which our brain sees the world shapes our reality and impacts others. And students can learn that they have the choice to reframe their lens for a more empowering and positive view. Continue reading

Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: Passion and Strengths


While the role of education is to give students a broad and foundational knowledge over a wide range of subjects, it is equally important for young people to be aware of and develop their unique strengths. Continue reading

Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: The Power of Appreciation


Gratitude works on two levels. It is one of the quickest ways to shift your perspective on perceived problems (external) and it is also an antidote to the inner “critic mind.” If individuals are grateful for the small things, then the bigger issues can seem less daunting. On the inner level, when people practice noticing the good in others, they tend to be less judgmental with themselves. Continue reading

Activities to Build Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students


Anyone who works with young children knows that they live in the moment. When they are happy, all they know is that they’re happy RIGHT NOW. So how do you teach the difference between short-term and long-term happiness to someone who lives in the moment? Beyond grasping the concept of long-term happiness, how do you teach the value of long-term happiness? Continue reading

Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act


Congressman Tim Ryan has been a force for the support of mindfulness in our military and schools and now he is expanding that support with the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act. The act, co-sponsored by Congressman Dave Loebsack, Congressman Tom Petri and Congressman Matt Cartwright, amends the Elementary Education and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to allow funding for teacher and principal training and professional development to be used for social and emotional learning programming. “I have already seen what … Continue reading

Teacher Appreciation Day!


“If there’s one thing we cannot say enough to our nation’s educators, it is THANK YOU.” – President Barack Obama Today, May 7, 2013, is Teacher Appreciation Day. At Project Happiness, we are so grateful to all of the teachers that work with Project Happiness! They are the backbone of all of our programs and they teach us so much about how we can improve the work that we do. Without our teachers, it would not be possible to have … Continue reading



Last year, students at the University of Southern California piloted a new program from Project Happiness called 7 Doors to Happiness. The program was created as a resource for adults to access their own happiness and to share it with others. One of the USC students, Mecca Moore, blogged about her experience with the 7 Doors to Happiness and asked if she could share it on our site. This year, this online course is once again being used at the … Continue reading

Randy Taran Featured on Microsoft’s Daily Edventures with Anthony Salcito


This week, Project Happiness founder Randy Taran sat down with Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector Education to discuss her work with Project Happiness. The video is part of Anthony’s Daily Edventures, a 365-day look at heroes in education. To learn more about Microsoft’s Daily Edventures, visit www.DailyEdventures.com

Common Ground Magazine Sings Praises of Project Happiness


When Randy Taran’s eldest daughter was a teenager, she approached her mother with a very serious concern: she was stressed out, and while she wanted to be happy, she didn’t know how. Taran, heartbroken and unsure of how to respond to or guide her daughter, first sought the guidance of experts and soon ended up as a visionary leader in the happiness movement. Her pain as a bewildered parent ultimately led her to found the Palo-Alto-based nonprofit Project Happiness which, … Continue reading

Australia’s Social and Emotional Learning Advocate

An update on happychild.com.au’s Yvette Vignando: she managed to secure herself a visit with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, during which she made her case for more Project-Happiness-type social and emotional learning in Australia’s schools. Go to http://ow.ly/1A292 to hear an interview about her visit with the prime minister on ABC Newcastle. We at Project Happiness are so grateful for her tireless work on behalf of Australia’s students — go, Yvette!

Appreciating as an Action

So, no surprise that on Thanksgiving, as on any other day, I was caught up in the language of the occasion. In particular, I began wondering about the name of the holiday itself, Thanksgiving. Even someone without a degree in linguistics could tell you that it comes from giving thanks.[1] But the general public might not know how much complex appreciative action is hidden inside this humble noun (in addition the action of removing toddler-sized cranberry sauce prints from your … Continue reading

Throwing Kids A Lifeline

It probably comes as a huge surprise that someone with a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics was not the coolest kid back in high school. In fact, you will probably be amazed to hear that the secretary of the Latin Club (not even the president – it’s a geeky position inside a geeky organization!) was the butt of many of the popular kids’ jokes. My lack of self-awareness didn’t help: for instance, in order to find out how to be popular, … Continue reading

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