“I get to be the person to tell you great things today,” said Jennifer Freed, co-executive director at the nonprofit AHA! at the school board meeting on 9/23. Teaching students at Santa Barbara and San Marcos high schools, the organization seeks to establish a sense of harmony and achievement among teens. After 10 hours of training, Freed said students showed improvement in almost all targeted areas ​— ​which included increasing school belonging, interrupting bullying, and creating empathy ​— ​according to third-party research. Notably, Freed said, students have been very receptive to a web app created to track and encourage positive behavior.


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