Oldham County Schools teach students to aim for happiness ahead of success

Oldham County schools pushing new way of thinking, living to students

LA GRANGE, KY (WAVE) - A book has opened a new way of life for students at Oldham County Schools.

The district is pushing a new way of thinking and living.

In one session Tuesday, students learned how to curve the paths of their lives, careers and goals. They’re flipping their thinking, from equating success to happiness, to just being happy.

“Eleven million thoughts go through your head,” said Maggie Kaiser, an eighth-grader in Oldham County. “Only 40 you actually think about.”

Oldham County students learned how to sift through and find the positive thoughts.

“Most adults aren’t given this information,” said Amanda Dewey, a junior in Oldham County. “They go through life not knowing that productivity increases with happiness.”

For the first time in Oldham County, 48 11th- and 8th-graders learned what it meant to go completely orange, inspired by the book “The Orange Frog,” by Shaun Achor.

OCS Assistant Superintendent Willie Foster said the book was the right fit to move his school forward.

“It’s a parable about the happiness advantage,” Foster said, adding that it’s not a program; going orange is a way of life. “It’s eye-opening to see what students carry in regards to stress, the burden of being a student managing life, managing advanced classes.”

“Everyone has to choose happiness themselves,” Dewey said. “They can’t be given happiness.”

With the help of conversations and videos, the book opened a fresh page in the students’ minds, encouraging them to seek happiness and not necessarily rewards or accomplishments.

“(I’m) changing my lenses to help others,” Kaiser said. “Instead of being focused on myself.”

“It’s better to know the information now than just go and walk completely blind believing something that isn’t true,” Dewey said.

Now students walk spewing orange. They have to complete a 21-day gratitude challenge and a focus on attracting success through their happiness.

Nearly 200 teachers have already finished orange frog training, and the district plans to keep the training in place in the future.

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