About – Growing with Gratitude


Planting The Seeds For Future Happiness


The Growing With Gratitude Program aims to help teachers, students and families easily develop the habits of gratitude, kindness and mindfulness that have been identified as the stepping stones to greater happiness and success.

Teaching children these skills as early as possible in their journey helps them develop greater resilience, builds their emotional and physical wellbeing, and promotes positive thoughts and habits.

The program is based around learning the Five Habits of Happiness, and can be completed by children in every primary year level with their teachers or with their parents at home (see the Families page for more information on the Home Grown Gratitude program designed especially for parents).

The program is linked with the Australian Curriculum (ACARA): Health and PE and the Personal, Social and Physical Education Scope & Sequence (PSPE) in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and also follows the PERMA guidelines.

How Growing with Gratitude Was Born
A Message from the Founder

While working as a primary school physical education teacher in my early 30s I stumbled across a couple of books by thought leaders and scientists who were studying positive psychology and its impact on happiness, health and lifestyle.

The more I read the more my interest in this area grew, not just because it tied into my own goals of improving the wellbeing and health of young children, but because the ideas resonated with my own journey and personal challenges at the time.

Over the next few years I continued to read and research as much as I could. I attended conferences on the topic, read books by popular authors and psychologists such as Martin Seligman, Barbara Frederickson, Sonja Lyubomirsky, and Shawn Achor among others, and adopted the best of their advice into my own daily life.

And after awhile I realised that all the research and studies were really saying the same thing: that contrary to our society’s long-held belief that ‘success’ is the doorway to happiness, gratitude and acceptance are the real indicators of future health, happiness and success in life.

It sounds really basic, but developing an understanding of this principle changed my life in powerful and profound ways and I began experiencing myself the positive impact that this simple philosophy has both physically and mentally.

Then one day while running on the treadmill I had a light-bulb moment – if learning these simple skills and techniques could have such a positive effect on my life at 34, what if I had been taught them when I was much younger? Like in primary school? What would my life have been like if I had these skills right from the start? And what would my students’ lives be like if I shared these insights with them?

There seemed no reason to me that the simple techniques used by adults to retrain their brains and change their beliefs couldn’t be taught to children, giving them an advantage and therefore setting them up for a lifetime of optimism, kindness and success.

And so Growing with Gratitude was born!

Through the Growing With Gratitude Program I hope to empower children, teachers, parents and families quickly and simply with the skills that taught me years to learn. And by nurturing these skills in young children I’m hoping we can create a new generation of grateful, happy, kind, mindful and optimistic people who will stamp their presence on the world and go on to make even greater positive change themselves.

So thank you for being a part of the Gratitude Revolution. I hope you enjoy the journey.

Ash Manuel