Anti-bullying program Project TEAM continues to grow and flourish

October 30, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Project TEAM is a school-wide anti-bullying movement to help schools develop and strengthen team-oriented cultures, and its founder is attempting to make its overall reach even wider.

Program developer Linsey Covert, an instructor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education at Penn State, formed TEAMology to commercialize the intellectual property of Project TEAM to scale and grow the program. 

TEAMology was one of the first companies formed under Penn State President Eric Barron’s Invent Penn State initiative.

Covert said a teacher software as a service platform was designed to provide easy access to the curriculum and content; provide microbadges for schools; allow for program monitoring; and provide a place for schools to collaborate.

About 55 schools across several states are part of Project TEAM for the 2019-20 school year.

“We continue to focus on helping schools provide an immersive way to integrate social-emotional learning, bullying prevention and career readiness,” Covert said.

Project TEAM is a holistic, school-wide program that provides social and emotional learning, career readiness and bullying prevention. 

Students are taught and reinforced daily with six main concepts: helping others, positive change, anti-bullying, problem-solving, resiliency and leadership.

Years of research conducted by Covert, Professor of Education Richard Hazler, and Associate Professor of Education JoLynn Carney has revealed a 63% decrease in defiant behaviors, a 53% decrease in physical altercations, and a 70% decrease in disruptive classroom behavior in participating schools.  

Linsey Covert

Linsey Covert, Penn State College of Education instructor turned CEO, launched her company, Teamology  LLC, in 2016. The interactive cloud-based software delivers anti-bullying curriculum to teachers.

IMAGE: Penn State

Additionally, students with the lowest scores of feeling connected to schools — the hardest students to reach — have increased their feelings of school connectedness through the program. Students are more likely to think about career goals when they feel connected to school, and the research shows students believe that being part of Project TEAM helps them in school.

The research also shows students who indicated they were bullies are no longer reporting they are bullies, and students who indicated they were targets of bullying are no longer reporting they are targets. Incidents of students skipping class decreased by 97% and incidents of degrading a peer decreased by 92% as well.

“Project TEAM schools have provided the opportunity to develop relationships and do research with school districts that would normally be reluctant to invest time and energy with university researchers,” Covert said. 

“Working with the database created by these relationships, researchers have produced double-digit, peer-reviewed national and international journal articles and book chapters with more in the works over just the past four years.”

Ben Franklin Technology Partners invested $75,000 in 2016 to jump-start the TEAMology business, according to Covert.

“I strongly believed there was an opportunity to use this TEAM framework to make an impact on schools,” she said. “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.”

Visit the Project TEAM website for additional information.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 30, 2019