Endeavor Plus: The New After-School STEM Program from Endeavor Schools

 

Endeavor Schools has created a new program that gives children the opportunity to learn STEM through innovative, hands-on projects that enhance their understanding of technology that is a part of their everyday life.

Endeavor Plus is a new STEM-based program from Endeavor Schools that offers students an immersive and active way to learn about science and technology. From building robots to piloting drones, students learn STEM through interactive projects that are engaging, enjoyable, and, most importantly, educational.

Created by Ray Marker, the Director of Endeavor Plus, this exciting new program eschews the passivity of many STEM programs and immerses students in collaborative projects that enable them to understand how technology works and how to use it effectively and productively.

“This program is really about empowerment,” Marker said. “Some STEM programs tend to be too passive. They’ll give students tablets and have them do activities on a screen. But quite often, that sort of passivity can be unproductive. With Endeavor Plus, our students engage in active and collaborative learning, which gives them a deep understanding of the information they’re working with.”

The Endeavor Plus program consists of various modules where students work on collaborative projects. The modules include building robots; drone piloting; 3D printing; music tech; hacking and security; photo tech, and much more. Each module allows students to explore the topic while learning stacking skills that can be applied to other subjects and knowledge areas.

For Marker, a major purpose of Endeavor Plus is to enable children to understand the technological concepts they are surrounded by every day and take control of it.

“Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that ‘any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,’ and that can be a reason some feel overwhelmed or even wary of technology,” Marker said. “We want our students to have the confidence to know that they can understand technology and work with it.”

From his experience teaching STEM to students for many years, one of Marker’s favorite moments is seeing when a student begins to understand something that had previously been unknown to them.

“That moment that light bulb clicks – when they realize that what they watch on Netflix actually comes from a server connected to a network of wires and cables underneath the ocean – seeing that moment of understanding is special,” he said.

Although STEM is a major component of Endeavor Plus, it doesn’t stop there. The program also includes ‘Let’s Move,’ which combines sports, fitness education, and dance.

By combining STEM education with physical fitness and movement, Endeavor Plus is a fantastic way for children to stay active, something that is often overlooked in after-school programs.

To keep parents in the loop about their child’s progress in the program, Endeavor Plus instructors send weekly newsletters about the subject material, project plans, and learning goals. In addition, parents receive weekly updates on their child’s progress.

This gives parents knowledge about how well their child is doing in the program, as well as extra insight into their child’s talents and interests.

Through a combination of STEM and physical fitness programs, Endeavor Plus offers one of the most well-rounded extracurricular programs available.

Endeavor Plus will be available at several of our schools throughout the country. Registration will begin in July for the fall semester.

How an Endeavor School is Helping Ukrainian Refugees

Endeavor Schools is proud to announce that Palm Harbor Montessori Academy in Palm Harbor, Florida, has awarded scholarships to three children who recently fled Ukraine to seek refuge in the United States.

The children – two 8-year-olds and one 4-year-old – are part of two families who arrived in Florida earlier this year. Both families were taken in by a PHMA parent, who reached out to the school to ask if they could accommodate the children. PHMA was happy to do so and gave the children scholarships for the duration of the school year.

“We wanted to give the kids a sense of normalcy during what’s obviously a difficult time,” said Tamye Crutchfield, the School Leader at PHMA. “Our school has really embraced both families, and they have become a part of our community.”

Going from Ukraine to Florida would be a culture shock for anybody. However, PHMA is helping the children adapt.

From learning to speak and write in English and making new friends, the children are adjusting well at PHMA. The school has been a great fit for the new students, in part because of its multilingual staff and classroom mentors who have been especially helpful for the Ukrainian students.

Crutchfield added that her school’s Montessori curriculum is benefiting the new students.

“Montesori is a worldwide system, and the material is adaptable to any culture,” she said. “That’s the beauty of Montessori.”

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, more than 4 million Ukrainian have left the country since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February. Approximately half of the refugees are children.

The majority of the refugees have relocated to neighboring countries, including more than 2 million to Poland. In March, the U.S. government announced it would accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Meanwhile, at PHMA, the staff is doing all it can to give their newest students a warm welcome.

“You can see by the smiles on their faces that the children are enjoying being at school and happy to be in a safe and welcoming environment,” Crutchfield said.

 

Endeavor Schools Begins Webinar Series for Parents Hosted by Dr. Amy Brereton

Dr. Amy Brereton, the Executive Vice President of Academics at Endeavor Schools.

Endeavor Schools held its first live webinar for parents this month with a presentation on how parents can use positivity to improve their child’s behavior.

The webinar was presented by Dr. Amy Brereton, the Executive Vice President of Academics at Endeavor Schools, and was the first in what will be an ongoing webinar series for parents about using informed and researched techniques at home for maximizing child development.

This inaugural presentation focused on developing tools to guide children’s behavior toward positive outcomes.

Dr. Brereton began by reiterating the difference between “discipline” and “punishment.”

While punishment reprimands a child for undesirable behavior, discipline creates the opportunity for a child to understand why certain behavior is undesirable and what is the better course of action.

“We often use these words interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing,” she said.

And keeping in mind the difference between the two can help in guiding your child’s behavior.

Be a STAR

When a situation calls for discipline, it’s often not a pleasant one. Whether the child made a big mess or threw a tantrum in public, parents can experience distress, anger, or frustration. In these times, it’s crucial to maintain a cool head and “Be a STAR.”

STAR is an acronym for:

Smile

Take a deep breath

And

Relax

Developed by Dr. Rebecca Bailey, an expert in childhood education and developmental psychology and the creator of the Conscious Discipline theory of social and emotional learning, STAR is a crucial and easy to remember tool to have when you need it in stressful situations, whether it’s parenting-related or anything else.

“This is rooted in brain science,” Dr. Brereton said. “When we get worked up, we leave the ‘thinking’ part of our, the prefrontal cortex, and we go back into the emotional centers of our brain making it difficult for us to think rationally.”

However, by centering yourself, you can regain control and get back into a proper headspace to deal with whatever challenge is before you.

Smiling lets you know everything is okay. Taking a deep breath puts some extra oxygen into your body to calm down and relax. Once you’re in a more relaxed headspace, you’re in a better position to handle the situation in a positive manner.

Avoid Fear-Based Measures

Parents are aware of how physical punishment can negatively impact children, but the remnants of those fear-based techniques still exist. From raising one’s voice or making empty threats, using fear to instill discipline can still have negative psychological and physical repercussions, as well. Fear-based measures can increase stress hormones in children’s brains, which causes a cascade of other effects, including sleep problems, weaker immune systems, and decreased memory.

“A fear approach might work in the short-term since it will sometimes get the child to do what the parent wants, but it doesn’t help them in the long term and actually makes it more difficult for them to succeed in a lot of different ways,” Dr. Brereton said.

Discipline Rooted in Rewards Can Demotivate in the Long-Term

We might think of using rewards to obtain a behavioral goal is better than fear, but it also has its share of negative consequences.

Like fear-based measures, rewards-based measures can work in the short-term, but they don’t build intrinsic motivation that makes doing the right thing part of a child’s behavior.

“Many great studies tell us how individuals who have a strong internal locus of control succeed in all kinds of areas of their life,” Dr. Brereton said.

While it’s not necessarily bad or wrong to have rewards at times, using this technique as a primary method of discipline can inhibit the ultimate goal, which is shaping a child’s behavior in a positive way so that they learn how to make the right decisions for themselves.

Build Intrinsic Motivation

Since the goal is to help children make the right decisions for themselves, how can we do this? To build that intrinsic motivation, children need to understand why certain decisions are the right ones.

For example, you can convince your child to eat their vegetables to eat broccoli by threatening to punish them if they don’t (fear-based) or give them ice cream if they do (rewards-based), but neither way teaches the child why they should eat cauliflower, which is that their body needs certain nutrients to grow strong.

Dr. Brereton described a time where she taught her daughter the value of eating cauliflower by doing a research project together. Her daughter learned about the benefits of eating cauliflower, such as how it can provide the body with powerful nutrients that can aid in fighting diseases. After understanding this, her daughter was soon asking for second helpings of the superfood.

Sometimes that understanding on a deeper level of why a child should do a certain thing can give them the spark they need to build the proper intrinsic motivation.

Voice Control

Using the appropriate tone when speaking to your child can be a huge factor in practicing good communication techniques. Referencing Dr. Bailey’s book, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, Dr. Brereton describes, there are three major tones to communicating with your child during a disciplinary action: Passive, Assertive, Aggressive.

In most cases, the assertive tone will be the most effective. But this doesn’t mean just taking on an assertive tone. The words you use are part of the technique.

Below are five examples of things a parent might say to encourage their child to get dressed for school:

The first and second examples are considered “aggressive” because they use fear and ultimatum. The third and fourth examples are passive because one gives the child a chance to make excuses (and waste time) while the fourth uses bribery.

The fifth, however, gives the child clear and concise directions about what to do. It’s also an opportunity for the child to learn something about preparing one’s clothes and is a quick activity parent and child do together as they work towards their goal.

Dr. Brereton went in-depth on how to use assertiveness to guide your child’s behavior. The chart below outlines six tips to effectively assert your parental authority to guide your child’s behavior.

 

 

‘What You See is What You Get’

Dr. Brereton reminds parents that encouragement is an extremely effective tool in guiding behavior. Dr. Bailey said, “What you focus on, you get.” That’s why, in the midst of correcting wrongs and addressing bad behavior, it’s important to praise the things your child does well, too.

“If you’re spending a lot of time focusing on the behavior that you don’t want to see –  don’t hit, don’t bite, don’t cry, don’t take things that aren’t yours – you may see more of that,” Dr. Brereton said. “Instead, try to catch the things that are going right – catch your child doing well.”

If your child did their chore without having been told to, praise them for that and let them know how good it makes you feel.

“And be specific with the praise that you offer the children so that they know what exactly it is they get right,” she added.

Be Appreciative of Your Child’s Efforts

Parents will always make mistakes and sometimes things are just out of your control. But it’s also important to remember that children have bad days, too.

“I encourage you to go gentle on yourself, but also recognize that some days your child’s doing the best he or she can do, and we want to be gentle and appreciative of their best effort, even when it’s not exactly what we’d like it to be,” Dr. Brereton said.

To help illustrate this point, Dr. Brereton ended the presentation with a quote from Fred Rogers:

“Some days, doing the ‘best we can’ may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do. But life isn’t perfect on any front – and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves…or anyone else.”

If you would like to receive reminders for our next webinar presentations, sign up here.

 

Interview with Julie Bogart, Author of ‘Raising Critical Thinkers: A Parent’s Guide to Growing Wise Kids in the Digital Age’

Julie Bogart

Critical thinking is one of the most important tools that children develop during their formative years. From analyzing information to understand new concepts in school to weighing potential consequences during decision-making, one’s critical-thinking skills can have a tremendous impact on their lives.

In the new book, Raising Critical Thinkers: A Parent’s Guide to Growing Wise Kids in the Digital Age, author Julie Bogart delves into the importance of instilling strong critical-thinking skills in children. The book’s timing is impeccable, as parents are more concerned than ever about giving their children the necessary skills to navigate a world where information and technology is omnipresent.

Bogart is the creator of Brave Writer, the successful online writing and language arts program designed to help children develop strong writing and self-expression skills. As a children’s educator and mother of five children, whom she homeschooled herself, Bogart drew on her vast experience to create an excellent book that provides crucial insight into raising critical thinkers.

In this Q and A, Bogart spoke to us about some of the concepts she discusses in her book, as well as some practices parents can implement to improve their child’s critical-thinking skills.

Why is it so important to develop strong critical-thinking skills at an early age?

How we learn to learn shapes how we understand ourselves in relationship to others. If from an early age, we are introduced to a variety of ways to live and see the world, we have more room for nuance and complexity as we encounter a wide variety of people and perspectives.

Kids naturally adopt points of view different from their own. They put on dress-up clothes to pretend to be Cinderella or Robin Hood. They crawl on the floor to see what it’s like to be a dog. They imagine that they are traveling in a spaceship. We can capitalize on this natural curiosity by fanning it into flame, rather than training our children to adopt the family system as the one true way to interact with the world.

How can parents enhance their child’s critical-thinking skills at home?

First, by valuing dissent.  What does that mean? When a child disagrees with a parent’s point of view, the parent can be curious about why that child sees the issue that way. For instance, you might have a child who wants to skip eating breakfast. The typical parent will go into “indoctrination mode” to get the child to see that breakfast matters, that the child’s brain won’t work as well without it, that the child will be hungry too soon before lunch, etc.

But what if we got curious instead? What if the child explained that he didn’t like breakfast foods and only wanted turkey sandwiches. What if the child didn’t feel hungry yet and needed an hour to wake up before eating felt comfortable for them? Can we hear that? Can we swap in a sandwich or send a more substantial snack to school to eat during a break? Sometimes we are so busy telling our kids what they should think and feel, we miss an opportunity for creative problem-solving, helping a child know their own mind, and imagining alternatives.

Parents can also play games of all kinds, ask good questions, and provide their children with experiences and encounters.

Are there common practices that parents might engage in or let their children engage in that could have a negative impact on developing critical-thinking skills?

Lots of parents are worried that their children will adopt the “wrong” views, so they protect their children from any thoughts or ideas that contradict the family value system. When we prevent kids from knowing that other views exist, we either drive their different ideas underground where they feel uncomfortable talking about them with their parents, OR we teach them to be propagandists for a perspective—meaning they learn the family lexicon of ideas and defend them without having investigated them for themselves.

What we want are kids who can encounter an idea that feels uncomfortable, knowing they will survive it and can explore and investigate it with tools that lead them to better conclusions.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote this book because the internet has led us into some of the most vicious conversations any of us have ever experienced. Our school test-training led us into the misconception that there would be one right answer to all complex questions and if we could just find the expert who tells us what that is, everyone would agree.

What we discovered instead is that school misled us. Most issues are not single answer issues. Most of our conflicts involve our personal perceptions and the narratives our communities give us. It’s difficult to tease apart what I know because I know it and what I have received from my community as true because I value the people who create my meaningful life. My hope is that as we face how the internet has caused us to become more reactive and less thoughtful, we can create new conditions for our children. In short, I really hope we can change the way we interact with one another, so that we can face the big issues that face us bravely, with more insight.

What else do you want parents to know about this book?

I want parents to know this is not a thinly veiled political screed. I don’t talk about US politics or whether or not to wear masks. The purpose of this book is to engage in ideas with tools that help us do a better job of exploring them. I also hope parents who read this book will become better parents—making room for their children to think all of the thoughts they have without running the risk of losing a parent’s love and support.

 

New Research Proves What Montessorians Have Long Known: Finger-Tracing Helps Children Learn

 

Sandpaper numbers are common in Montessori classrooms. Photo by Lisa Maruna

For more than 100 years, finger-tracing has been used by Montessorians to help children learn geometry and language. Ask a Montessorian about finger-tracing, and they might even quote Dr. Maria Montessori, who wrote in her seminal book, The Absorbent Mind: “He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”

Now, new research is confirming what Montessorians have long known about how movement and touch can aid in learning.

Tracing to Success

Two recent studies from the University of Sydney compared groups of children who used finger-tracing to learn a lesson with those who did not, and the results showed the finger-tracing groups came out ahead.

In one study, conducted in Shanghai, China, nine and 10-year-old students were given a puzzle and instructed to find the missing angle. The control group was not allowed to touch the puzzle, while one group traced the shapes with their fingers and a third group traced the shapes before closing their eyes and imagining the tracing.

After the puzzle portion of the study, the children answered a questionnaire that measured learning motivation and cognitive load, or the amount of energy one spends during a mental activity.

A meta-analysis of the results showed that children who traced not only solved the puzzle more quickly, but had an easier time doing so as they had more motivation and less cognitive load.

Finger-tracing isn’t only effective for children, according to the second study. That study included 44 adults selected for their lack of astronomical knowledge. The astronomy novices were then divided into two groups: One learned about the lifecycle of a star with just text and a diagram, whereas the other group received the same text and diagram, but was told to use their hands to trace over the visual component.

The results were similar to the children’s study: The adults who traced had higher motivation and lower cognitive load.

“There are multiple reasons why tracing can help learning,” said Paul Ginns, the Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Sydney and co-author of both studies. “It seems that humans are biologically wired so that we pay closer attention to the space near our hands. So, when using an index finger to trace visual stimuli, these elements of a lesson receive processing priority. Tracing can also assist learning because it ‘chunks’ all the important elements of new material into one piece of information, making it easier for us to learn.”

Montessori Tracing

At the Montessori campuses in the Endeavor Schools family, finger-tracing is a common technique.

Faith Money, the school leader at Atlanta Montessori International School-Druid Hills, says finger-tracing is an important part of her Primary Program (3 – 6-year-olds).

“The goal is to give the child concrete materials to represent concepts that can be very abstract,” Money says. “When we see the children using their hands to understand concepts like alphabet symbols, length, weight, temperature, shapes, numbers, etc., we find they have a deeper understanding of these concepts and a solid foundation when moving to abstraction.”

One common finger-tracing technique is with the use of sandpaper.

“The sandpaper letters are a wonderful example of finger tracing,” Money says. “Once the child understands the concept of cat begins with the ‘c’ sound, we introduce them to the correlating symbol in cursive. Each letter is on a board and the letter symbol is made of rough sandpaper. Next, the child sensitizes their index and middle fingers by placing them in warm water and wiping them dry with a cloth. We then show the child how to correctly trace the letter a few times and they repeat tracing after them at least three times, but often we find the child enjoys it so much they will trace the letter many more times! While they are tracing this symbol the guide will say the sound it makes so the child is hearing the sound and feeling its symbol.”

Lee Lanou, the Director of Montessori Education at Endeavor Schools, said that new research, such as the University of Sydney studies, has added to the pile of evidence in favor of many Montessori techniques, such as the importance of combining hand movement with learning.

“More than 100 years after Dr. Maria Montessori invented her method, neuroscience research is flooded with evidence of the strong connection between the hands and the brain,” Lanou says. “In Montessori classrooms, children are given multi-sensory materials to guide their learning. This is combined with the freedom to repeat these movements as often as they desire, which creates an optimal and natural development for learning in young children.”

Making Learning Exciting: How Project-Based Learning Helps Children Excel

Project-based learning (PBL) is growing in popularity around the world, including in the United States.  Through engaging projects, students interact with their subject material while collaborating with their peers to better understand their subjects. Many of our schools, including The Endeavor School in Miami, utilize this method because it can make learning a more meaningful experience, which resonates with young students who thrive when they are excited about what they learn.

Internationally-Renowned Method

Although PBL is growing in popularity in the United States, it is considered commonplace in many countries, including Finland, which regularly tops education rankings. In 2016, the Finnish government decided that PBL was so effective it implemented the educational approach into the national curriculum. At least once per year, students participate in a long-term PBL module.

When designing the national curriculum, Finnish researchers said PBL modules enabled students to develop transversal competencies, or skills that can be used in different areas of life, including collaboration, critical thinking, and leadership skills.
Kirsti Lonka, a professor of educational psychology at Helsinki University, told Super Humanics that PBL equips children to deal with complex problems that require critical thinking, collaboration skills, and creativity.

“Traditionally, learning has been defined as a list of subject matters and facts you need to acquire – such as arithmetic and grammar – with some decoration, like citizenship, built in around it,” Lonka said. “But when it comes to real life, our brain is not sliced into disciplines in that way; we are thinking in a very holistic way. And when you think about the problems in the world – global crises, migration, the economy, the post-truth era – we really haven’t given our children the tools to deal with this inter-cultural world.”

PBL, however, does give children those tools, and the research bears that out.

A large-scale, randomized study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2019 looked at more than 17,000 students in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay and compared results of PBL students to students participating in more traditional learning models. After just seven months, the study found that PBL students scored higher in all education areas.

Active Brains and Real-World Skills

PBL uses hands-on inquiry for a more experiential learning experience. In other words, students don’t just sit and listen. Rather, they get involved in projects that require interaction and collaboration, providing a more stimulating and memorable effect.

“When students pursue a line of inquiry that’s interesting to them, their brains can focus longer because it’s something they’re excited about,” said Dr. Amy Brereton, the Executive Vice President of Academics at Endeavor Schools. “It feels more like exploration and play, rather than just rote memorization. Brains remember something better when there’s an emotional connection.”

The pursuit of that line of inquiry is why PBL is so effective at teaching real-world skills. In everyday life situations, answers can’t always be found in a textbook or Google search. Working on projects – tinkering, testing, experimenting, – gives students the ability to work through problems, rather than just looking for a ready-made answer.

In addition, PBL enables students to learn a crucial skill: How to learn from mistakes.

In a PBL module, students are encouraged to experiment and try different approaches to accomplish their goals. Of course, they don’t always make the “right” choice in pursuit of their goal, but that’s part of the PBL process; making mistakes and experiencing disappointment, but learning from that to gain a deeper understanding of the entire process.

“Mistakes can be useful,” Brereton said. “They can teach students that the pathway to success is paved with mistakes and how we respond to mistakes is important to long-term success.”

Education researchers have found evidence that making mistakes can be beneficial to learning. According to a 2017 paper titled ‘Learning from Errors,’ psychologist Janet Metcalfe found that “errorful learning” followed by corrective feedback can help students gain a better understanding of material.

In the 1994 book, The Learning Gap, which compared Japanese classrooms to American classrooms, researchers found that Japanese teachers focused on common mistakes made during mathematics lessons. In contrast, as the UC Berkeley blog points out, American teachers mainly teach the ‘correct’ method, largely ignoring how mistakes are made. The result is that Japanese schoolchildren regularly score higher than their American counterparts in mathematics.

At Endeavor Schools, we understand that there are many different ways for children to learn and everyone learns differently. That’s why our schools use a variety of learning methods, from project-based learning to Montessori, as well as hybrid programs. What matters most is that our children have  positive and effective learning experience so that they enjoy a lifelong love for learning.

For more information on our growing network of schools, visit our schools page.

Montessori Education in Childhood Can Lead to Happier Adulthood, Study Finds

A new study published in Frontiers of Psychology found that adults who attended Montessori schools as children experienced higher personal well-being levels than those who attended conventional schools.

The study, led by the University of Virginia’s Dr. Angeline Lillard, who has researched the impact of Montessori education, tested the hypothesis that a Montessori education can help lead to happier adulthood due to the education model’s focus on self-determination, meaningful activities, and social stability.

After surveying nearly 2,000 people, the researchers found that former Montessori students scored higher in all 18 measures of psychological well-being related to general well-being, engagement, social trust, and self-confidence.

“Montessori pedagogy has features that enhance well-being contemporaneously and predictively, including self-determination, meaningful activities, and social stability,” the researchers said in the paper, adding: “This makes theoretical sense, in that Montessori schools have features that are related to these aspects of well-being. For example, Montessori gives children free choice and thus a high degree of self-determination, which has been shown in other research to render happiness and a strong sense of one’s own competence, and which allows one to find and engage in activities that give one a sense of purpose.”

The survey included 1,905 adults between 18 and 81 (median age of 36). Half of the respondents attended Montessori schools between 2 and 16 years (median time of 6 years). The other half attended only conventional schools.

Lee Lanou, the Director of Montessori Education at Endeavor Schools, said she was not surprised by the study results because Montessori education had such a positive impact in her life.

“As a child of Montessori education myself, I know that it had a tremendous impact on the person I grew to be,” Lanou said. “I was in a Montessori classroom from ages 3 to 6 and I loved the freedom to learn in a way that felt completely natural. I remember being so happy as I was learning to read and even learning division as a kindergartner. It was in high school when I realized that it was my Montessori education that had taught me how to learn.”

Lanou said her Montessori education helped her better understand the learning process. Mastering new skills isn’t always easy, but can be done with the necessary effort. Knowing this helped Lanou realize that if she didn’t know how to do something right away, she could figure it out.

“It wasn’t a roadblock,” she said. “It was just going to take a few steps to learn how to do it. I suppose that freedom in my mind allowed me to dream big! My Montessori education certainly has had a positive impact on my well-being as an adult. I am a living testament to the power of a Montessori education.”

Endeavor Schools owns and operates more than 30 Montessori schools across the United States. Each school’s curriculum promotes personal wellness and balance through physical and mental activities, such as nutrition and cooking, personal care, mindfulness, yoga, and more.

“Our goal is that when children leave our programs, they have developed a healthful and physically active lifestyle and a disposition to pursue lifelong physical and mental wellness,” Lanou said.