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School District Increases Happiness With Unique Character

By Jefferson Tyler, Multimedia Journalist

ELDON, IA (KYOU) – A new face is creating an impact on how students and teachers think in the Cardinal School District’s elementary, middle, and high Schools. He’s big. And orange.  And always glad to see you.
“We’re spreading more positive energy. He’s orange and always glad to see you.”
Drake Harl, like many other students at Cardinal Schools is using the story of Spark the Frog, in the book “The Orange Frog” and the principals of the positive psychology book “The Happiness Advantage” to promote a different type of learning in class,
“The book and Spark have taught us about positive energy and spreading positive energy around School”.
The book, The Orange Frog, simplifies the seven principals of The Happiness Advantage. Basically the parabole is an easy to understand story about an orange frog that’s when he’s positive and happy he receives orange spots, and when he tends to not focus on happy things. Frogs tend to stay green. If we have positive wins, it’s easier to get the next win too. So try to start with short term wins.  If you can take things down to 20 seconds, its more apt to happen. Or more likely to happen.
If you want to create change, it’s easier when you do it with someone else. So if you want to create happiness. Have two or three people at work do happiness things”.
Harl says he’s already seeing it make a difference.
“We were talking about how this kid was not nice, and another one was. And i was like we can all be nice if we keep spreading positive energy. I just told them we should spread positive energy like Spark did around his ponds. They all kind of stopped saying what they were saying, and then that kid was a little nicer,” says Harl.
“It means if there is something wrong, we can spend all our time on complaining or we can look for solutions. And I think the happiness advantage lets us concentrate on solutions.” Says Pedersen.

The Cardinal School District has actually been asked to speak at a conference on the happiness advantage principals, in an effort to spread the same method of positive thinking to other school districts and businesses from all over the country.


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