Are YOU in the House?

Teamwork, charity, and leadership are not traditionally innate in children. Project TEAM introduces students to a world that is bigger than their own. They become aware of the needs in their community and beyond. Not only does Project TEAM give an opportunity for kids to focus on the importance of teamwork and leadership in their daily lives, it allows for them to take those foundations and make a difference in the lives of those in need.

What is Project TEAM?

Project TEAM is a school-wide anti-bullying movement to help schools evolve into TEAM-oriented cultures. Through the process of implementing and practicing the Project TEAM program and curriculum, a school will see a climate change that brings every person in the school together to work toward one common goal. This instills a sense of belonging in students, a decrease in bullying, teaches proactive social skills, and creates future leaders. Students involved in Project TEAM have a deeper sense of doing the right thing. They gain important knowledge that they can use in real life situations but also aid in their academics. Project TEAM brings a positive change to students, families, and communities. These changes then become a way of life.


About Project TEAM

Project TEAM is an initiative created by former school counselor, Linsey Covert. The program is based on a framework she developed as a graduate student at Penn State University (2004-2006). Her vision included a school-wide program that has an impact on all students based on a teambuilding and leadership development approach. Project: TEAM consists of a plan for whole school implementation along with a breakdown of classroom, small group, and the individual student using both intervention and prevention approaches. Project TEAM focuses on 6 foundations: Helping Others, Positive Change, Anti-Bullying, Problem Solving & Conflict Resolution, Resiliency, and Leadership. The foundations are taught and reinforced through a variety of approaches. Social skills, career education, anti-bullying strategies, friendship, and relational skills are some of the key concepts that are provided within the PT framework.

After implementing her vision as a school counselor, Linsey teamed up with Lisa Dibernardo, a school counselor and Penn State alum, to expand the initiative in Stafford County School District in New Jersey. Lisa's demonstrated success with Project TEAM landed her a spot on Emmy Award-winning show Classroom Close-up in New Jersey.

Penn State University recognized the research basis and practical benefits of the program and became a partner in 2013. Funded in part by The College of Education and a donation from an alum, Project TEAM has significantly expanded into a package of programming and curriculum. Penn State researchers Dr.Richard Hazler, Dr. Jolynn Carney, Dr.Seria Chatters, and Dr.Julia Bryan, along with graduate students, work with Linsey and Lisa to continue to advance the curriculum and research model for Project TEAM.

The first school to partner with Penn State on a mission for research, development, and expansion of Project TEAM was Mowrey Elementary in the Waynesboro Area School District, PA. Waynesboro sits approximately 70 miles outside of the Washington/Baltimore area. The district serves over 4,000 students and has four elementary schools, one middle school, and a high school. An average of 38-50 % of students in the district are on free and reduced lunch. Project TEAM was launched in the fall of 2013. Mowrey saw positive impact on the students and school, including discipline referrals being down by 10%. They also noticed students developing an interest in the Project TEAM language and using strategies in and out of the classroom. Due to the success at Mowrey Elementary, the Waynesboro Area School District decided to expand the initiative to all elementary schools for the year 2014-2015.

  • Year two of the pilot included all four Waynesboro Elementary Schools and initiated the formal research agenda. The research agenda includes the following:
  • School Climate and student connectedness are measured beginning and ending of the school year for students, faculty and staff.
  • Understanding of the curricular foundations are measured before presentation of the foundational concepts and 6-8 weeks following the material presentation.
  • Discipline referral numbers are gathered throughout the academic year.
  • Student TEAM Leaders (small group work) assessment of social/emotional, cognitive, and behavioral changes.
  • Project TEAM school staff leaders' assessment of the program implementation collected at the beginning and ending of the school year.


Many initiatives strive to meet a student's direct individual needs, but Project TEAM goes further to create a culture where students are looking to help meet the needs of all members on the TEAM in addition to their own needs. Project TEAM focuses on six foundations that build on one another to show the value of specific skills in working together with others. Helping Others, Positive Change, Anti-Bullying, Problem Solving & Conflict Resolution, Resiliency, & Leadership are all necessary and powerful skills to attain individually, but when you put them together they can create a power house or in Project TEAM's case…the Project TEAM House!

Project: TEAM becomes a culture within a school setting. This umbrella allows for a common language to be used for other areas such as Community Outreach, Higher Education involvement, and Parent Education. The curriculum used to teach students about the program is adapted so that it can be used in these other areas as well:

  • Whole School Programming- Common Language, PT Tools, Posters, PT Houses, Banners, Boards
  • Classroom Programming- PT Curriculum, Integration into all other academic areas
  • Counselor Resources- Individual behavior plans, individual PT strategies, small group (Student TEAMS), and classroom lessons
  • Community Outreach- Bringing the community together through PT events and other efforts to make connections for students (examples include- Mini THONS, organized fitness events to raise money for a cause, Family Movie Nights, etc.
  • Career Education- Project: TEAM connects all six foundations to careers and allows for career exploration starting in Kindergarten
  • PT Gang- The PT Gang- Harper, Paco, Amelia, Philo, Ruby, and Lamar provide an opportunity for students to connect to the program through this multicultural TEAM of kids
  • Project: TEAM COLLEGE- Penn State Mont Alto has been piloting a Project: TEAM workshop series to enhance leadership skills at the college level
  • Educational Model Alignment- RTI (Response to Intervention) Danielson Model (for teachers)
  • Standards- Aligns with ASCA (American School Counselor Association), Literacy Standards, Career Standards, Interpersonal Standards