Month: April 2018


Educational Program of the Month
Painting Positivity Petals

School: Truman State University Region: MACURH
Person in charge: Rachel Snyder, Jordan Gregory, and Sammy Garrett Nominator: Sammy Garrett

Target Population: 50 Time Needed to Organize: 1 Month
Number of People in Attendance: 56 Date(s) of Program: April 16, 2018
Number of People Needed to Organize: 5 Cost of Program: $209.90
On-Campus Population: 2600 Chapter Size: 26

Origin of Program:

At Truman State University, mental health is a very important aspect of wellness to focus on. Three student advisors (SA) wanted to implement this wellness aspect into an event for on campus residents to attend. Two of the SAs in charge of the event had previously attended a guided canvas painting event focusing on mental health and introspection. Known as a ‘Positivity Flower’ the activity allowed attendees to paint a flower guided by the instructor and write words of encouragement on the center of the flower to serve as a reminder to remain mentally well. The three SAs wanted to use this creative idea as inspiration for an event on Truman’s campus to provide an outlet for residents to express themselves while engaging with mental wellness. Using the same general setup, the SAs planned and executed ‘Painting Positivity Petals’ on April 16th, 2018. Residents were able to paint a flower on provided canvases and were guided through a period of reflection to focus on their own wellbeing.

Word Count: 168

Please give a short description of the program:

Painting Positivity Petals, an Educational Program, took place on April 16th, 2018 in Ryle Hall’s Main Lounge, a common space for events in a residence hall at Truman State University. Six weeks before the event, the SAs began writing a Residence Life grant to fund the event. This process includes writing a very detailed outline of the event, a line item budget, and communicating with the Residence Life Professional Staff to ensure the grant was submitted. The Student Advisors worked tirelessly to ensure that the grant proposal was very detailed and included the most inclusive food options and cost-effective supplies. Several suppliers were cross-referenced to secure the best option to purchase, canvases, paint, brushes, food, and advertising. The grant also required the SAs to investigate potential risks of the event, which included paint allergies, food allergies, and damage to University property. To minimize these risks, the SAs warned residents of the contents of the paint, requested vegan and gluten-free food options, and covered the parquet floor with tarps to avoid damages. Advertisements were also ordered through the University Printing Services to publicize the event to a wider audience. Refreshments including finger sandwiches, popcorn, cookies, and sparkling grape juice were ordered through Sodexo, Truman's on campus catering service. On the day of the event, the SAs began set up 1.5 hours prior to the start time. Set up included arranging tables and chairs, covering the floor and tables with tarp to avoid damages, setting up the food tables, supplying each table with canvases and supplies, and setting up background music. Throughout the event, residents were encouraged to choose two or three colors of paint to use on their canvas and were guided through each step in the process of painting the flower. Stencils were provided in case residents needed them. Near the end of the event, one SA spoke about the importance of mental health and how positivity can have such an impact on your wellbeing. Residents were encouraged to reflect on their experiences and discover what they need to hear to help them during a rough time. They then wrote encouraging words or a quote on the center of the flower to remind them to stay positive in the future. Soft folk music was played throughout the event to set the tone of the evening. Following the event, the SAs and a few volunteers cleaned the area.

Word Count: 397

Goals of the program:

Goals of the program included focusing on mental wellness, creating a sense of community, and providing a stress-free event for the busy time nearing the end of the event. Through discussion about mental health and the impact of positivity, residents left the event better understanding both their personal well being and wellness as a whole. The atmosphere of the event also created a sense of community. With sun streaming into the main lounge through the windows, calming folk music playing in the background, and classy snacks and refreshments, the event was very inviting to residents far and wide. With April being a month of final projects and exams, the SAs in charge of the event wanted to create a stress-free environment for residents to both wind down from high stress academics and focus on introspection. This was accomplished by timing the event when residents were able to attend and allowing residents to express themselves through painting, a very stress-relieving activity.

Word Count: 161

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

Painting Positivity Petals had several long lasting effects for residents in attendance. The first and most obvious is the fact that they were able to create and take with them a tangible reminder to remain mentally well. Allowing residents to paint and take the canvases provided opportunity for attendees to display the painting in their room to reference later. Aside from a tangible takeaway, residents were also able to take away the knowledge about mental health and an introspective experience focusing on their own personal well-being. Residents were also able to discuss with others at their table regarding their own personal struggles and how to overcome them. This allowed for connections to be formed and coping mechanisms to be shared among residents. In addition, this event was hopefully the first annual of its kind, and will continue to provide positive wellbeing to Truman residents in years to come.

Word Count: 148

Short evaluation of the program:

Painting Positivity Petals was one of the most successful events planned by the three SAs involved. Many residents said it was their favorite event of the year and they loved attending! The estimated attendance of the program was 50 residents, which was exceeded by a total of six additional residents. Extra canvases were ordered to account for this, so all residents were able to receive a canvas and participate in the event. There was plenty of food for the evening, and at the end there was very little left so residents were clearly very happy with the options provided. The overall atmosphere of the event provided an excellent environment for residents to unwind and destress. In the future, it could be helpful to provide additional options for residents to paint throughout the evening. It may also be helpful to ask more SAs to assist in the execution, as cleaning up took quite a while with the assistance at hand.

Word Count: 160

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

Painting Positivity Petals could be very easily adapted on other campuses. An organization or group of Residence Life leaders would be able to plan and execute the program with a few key components. It is very important to find a space for the event and secure supplies early on. Event planners would need to coordinate with various entities to arrange funding for the event as well as work with advertising resources to ensure residents know the event is occurring. If additional funding is unavailable, event planners on other campuses could opt to use cheaper resources such as paper and watercolors or hosting the event without refreshments. The guided painting could also be altered to include a different end goal, or the event planners may choose to change the mental wellness aspect of event. Whatever the medium and method, this program is incredibly adaptable and would work well on any campus.

Word Count: 150

Date of entry into database: 2018-05-06 02:10:29

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