UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Linsey Covert, a Penn State alumna and instructor in the Penn State College of Education, had a desire to have a positive impact on children’s lives, and that eventually lead her to start a company.
While obtaining her master of education in Penn State’s counselor education program in 2006, Covert developed a framework for a K-8 school-wide program to reduce bullying through team-building, leadership development and peer intervention. The program nurtures interconnected life skills like resiliency and leadership that motivate kids to succeed. She called the program Project TEAM.
“I strongly believed there was an opportunity to use this TEAM framework to make an impact on schools,” said Covert. “If we could help students understand their responsibility to each other and teach actionable skills that made sense to kids in school and beyond, it could have a tremendous impact in our schools and society.”
After soft-piloting the curriculum as a school counselor and having positive results, Covert partnered with colleagues Richard Hazler, professor of counselor education, and Jolynn Carney, associate professor of counselor education. The team spent several years testing and refining the program until September 2016, when they formally launched TEAMology LLC with the goal of providing the program commercially to schools. Their launch coincided with a million-dollar gift from the newly established King Family Impact Endowment in the College of Education, which was created to support intervention programs and research efforts focused on social issues in elementary and secondary schools, specifically combatting bullying in schools and communities.
While Project TEAM meets state-mandated requirements for bullying prevention programs, it is much more than that. The program is a holistic school-wide program that is having an impact on all students. It’s able to take a social-emotional learning program and make it fit into a school-wide model, while providing character education, career education and 21st-century skills.