WKU PBS debuts program to teach power of positive thinking

Kayla Boyd

When Mary Forsythe’s sons were young, she and her husband put yellow sticky notes on the bathroom mirror for their children to read while brushing their teeth.

“I am helpful, I take turns, I am a good friend,” Forsythe said. “Simple little phrases to help them when they’re in their own thoughts jumpstarted their character education.”

Twenty-five years later, the Forsythes, of Denver, have turned their sons’ daily affirmations into an online program to help instill a positive inner voice in children’s minds.

Affies4Kids is a website that uses simple affirmations, enticing children with characters and repetition to help them value themselves.

“We have 11 grandchildren,” Forsythe said. “When they were coming on board, we recalled how important it was with our sons to have them say the affirmations.”

Since the couple recognized the importance of the affirmations, they decided to create the website. 

“Our sons are involved, our daughters-in-laws are involved,” Forsythe said. “Everyone believes in it so much.”

The team behind Affies4Kids is a robust one, said Forsythe. The credentials of those who created the programs include a Ph.D, four master’s degrees in education and a web designer.

What began three years ago is now broadening its reach across the country.

About five months ago, the Affies4Kids team reached out to James Morgese, the director of Educational Telecommunications for WKU PBS. This led to the first partnership between a PBS station and the web-based program.

“We had heard very good things about him — that he was very dedicated to the community and children,” Forsythe said.

Morgese had been planning to build the element of preschool and kindergarden content. He felt having a partnership with Affies4Kids would be a valued product and a step in the right direction.

“It’s remarkably simple,” Morgese said of the program. “Having been a parent, you kind of shake your head. This somehow breaks through that parent-child barrier.”

The website includes activities for parents to do with their children as well. 

Forsythe said these kinds of programs help traveling parents or military parents connect with their children.

One of Forsythe’s favorite lessons directs parents and children to share one thing that made them smile that day.

“It’s all for the benefit of the child,” she said. “If a young child starts to think of their world in a positive way, it influences everything they do.”

Subscriptions are available through WKU PBS. They run at $40 for households and $80 for classroom use. Morgese said while they haven’t sold any yet, the website continues to do tremendously well.

“The average time spent on the website is eight minutes, which in the online world is astounding,” Morgese said.

Affies4Kids is expecting to introduce its program to Bowling Green area schools toward the end of October.

“Children become more self assured, which makes parenting and teaching easier,” Forsythe said. “Nothing could be better than that.”