Service Learning Projects - 2022

Service learning projects completed in 2022 include:

The Great Lakes Loons nonprofit minor league baseball team is built on high-quality connections among its staff and between its staff and fans. But after a year of stress and uncertainty resulting from COVID-19 and its consequences, the organization confronted challenges including workplace stress and lingering negative emotions and cognitions related to employee downsizing. The organization may benefit from recommended interventions at the individual, organizational, and community level. At the individual level, the Loons may benefit from supporting staff to develop coping mechanisms for stress and positive psychology strategies for increasing hope, optimism, and other aspects of wellbeing. At the organizational level, the Loons may benefit from increasing play and humor within their workplace culture to build on their strong foundation of high-quality connections. And at the community level, the organization may benefit from hosting an Appreciative Inquiry summit to reconnect with the community and reinvigorate the meaning staff derive from their work. A full intervention, including development of the Get Loony Playbook, to assist the organization with increasing playfulness and fun at work is included. Organizations that seek to increase positive emotions and high-quality connections can look to this intervention for inspiration.

See the full service learning project on Penn's Scholarly Commons website.

SeeingHappy, a nonprofit organization that seeks to use photography to enhance happiness and flourishing, tasked a team from the University of Pennsylvania to develop a well-being curriculum targeting adolescents. This curriculum, Happiness + photography, is rooted in evidence that suggests engagement in the arts and humanities, specifically photography, contributes to well-being through a variety of mechanisms, namely: creating, connecting, noticing, reframing, and storytelling. In addition to targeting adolescent students, the curriculum is geared toward educators for use in the classroom. Experiential learning and personal reflection are central in each lesson plan. With this curriculum in hand, SeeingHappy is positioned to develop further insights about the connections between photography, happiness, and human flourishing, and to make meaningful contributions to the emerging field of the positive humanities.

See the full service learning project on Penn's Scholarly Commons website.

Albert M. Greenfield Elementary School is a kindergarten to eighth-grade public school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Greenfield Home and School Association (HSA) is a parent organization whose efforts to support the school include sending weekly informational newsletters and by fundraising for school improvements. The HSA recently has become concerned that Greenfield teachers may be struggling with burnout originating from increasing demands placed upon them by pandemic-related stresses. The HSA asked for help in identifying and evaluating positive psychology interventions that could be used at Greenfield to reduce teacher burnout and increase teacher well-being. Three students from the Master of Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania addressed the concerns of the HSA by developing well-being interventions that might be adopted by the HSA as part of their programming over the next year. The interventions proposed by the MAPP students included administering a teacher burnout and well-being survey, adopting a mission statement that incorporated a well-being purpose for the organization, developing micro-interventions that could be easily and quickly used by teachers, improving the teachers’ lounge for greater well-being, and hosting a positive psychology retreat for teachers. Each of these interventions, described in detail in this report, was intended to use the principles of positive psychology to alleviate and prevent burnout in teachers and help build and enhance the resilience of the school community post-pandemic.

See the full service learning project on Penn's Scholarly Commons website.

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