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Our Mission

Look for the Good Project's mission is to improve the lives of children by giving them access to social emotional learning programming which develops a healthy self-esteem.

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We're All Experiencing Toxic Stress

 

Toxic stress is strong, frequent, or prolonged stress which dysregulates a person's biochemistry, triggering a cascade of symptoms including difficulty sleeping/eating, increased anxiety, paranoia, aggression, and hyperactivity. For children who don't have a healthy adult to consistently care and comfort them, the impact of toxic stress is far worse. Unable to calm down with a healthy adult, the child's stress response goes into overdrive and floods their body with stress hormones. Unchecked, this stress gets locked in their body as trauma which negatively impacts their physical and mental development, and has lifetime consequences on their health. Before the pandemic, about half the population of children in the United States had been suffering from some form of childhood trauma. Now, with the pandemic being a primary source of toxic stress, 100% of children worldwide are at risk... which is why the presence of a healthy adult is so important. This powerful video was created by Liv McNeil, a 15 year old student experiencing the quarantine in Canada.

Childhood Trauma Statistics

Forced Positivity Compounds Toxic Stress And Makes It Harder to Heal

If we try to pretend a stressful situation isn't happening by forcing or faking positivity, we disallow ourselves to feel the full range of human emotion and deny our real experience. Since this significantly reduces our resilience to trauma, it's essential to lean into ALL emotions and accept that negative emotions are normal and natural too, and can actually help protect us.

To learn more about the wise and protective qualities of negative emotions, check out the work of researcher Karla McLaren, our inspiration behind Permission to Panic and "Look for the Good School."

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Kids Need a Secure Relationship with at Least One Healthy Adult to Buffer Against Toxic Stress

According to Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child, the single most common factor in children who are resilient to toxic stress is one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult. They state that "these relationships provide the personalized responsiveness, scaffolding, and protection that buffer children from developmental disruption. They also build key capacities—such as the ability to plan, monitor, and regulate behavior—that enable children to respond adaptively to adversity and thrive."

Be That Healthy Adult Who Makes The Difference

Our Programming Encourages Kids to Build Strong Bonds With Safe Adults Who Make Them Feel Like Sunshine  

We help kids identify "Sunshine People" in our Gratitude Campaign Program so that they can write a letter of thanks to them. Watch Paul share his experience at Doolittle Elementary School in Cheshire, Connecticut:

 

 

Our Primary Goal is to Help School Communities Build Resilience to the Toxic Stress They're Experiencing Right Now. 

 

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Want to Support Us?

Meet One of Our Youngest Donors

After learning about the Look for the Good Project in kindergarten, Lucy started completing acts of kindness in her community. Now, ten years old, Lucy has started her own recycling club, picked up hundreds of pounds of trash, volunteered at animal shelters, and raised enough money to sponsor a program at Pitkin Elementary School! 

 
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