PH: 800-844-1979


4word Momentum

What is 4word Momentum?


4 Word Momentum (4WM) is an intense 5 hour program that works with up to 150 middle school students during the regular school day. Through a series of activities, stories and interactions, 4 WM provides students with new perspectives on what school life can look like while simultaneously promoting ways for students to communicate with each other outside of their normal routine.

The title 4WM is literally and figuratively comprised of 4 pillar words: Courage, Value, Safety and Kindness. These four words make up the foundation of 4 WM and serve as building blocks in aiding middle school students to make life long, positive choices. 4WM uses these pillars to emphasize and support the themes and desired outcomes of the 4Word Momentum program.

What are the 4Word Momentum Themes?


Breaking the Habit (Courage) 

A habit starts out as something you do and becomes who you are.

Based on the simple concept that there are no bad students, just bad habits, 4WM looks at the habits in our daily lives. Our habits play a large role in shaping our personality and character from simple habits like how we cross our arms, to more complicated ones like language and social interaction. The good news lies in the fact that most of our daily habits are good, and good for us. However, some habits can prove destructive or unhealthy. Students develop habits around what they say, how they say it and who they say it to. Some of those habits can reflect negative body language and word choice. 4WM asks students to reflect on the habits that may cause pain or hurt others. Changing (or establishing) good habits takes Courage as they may lie out of our comfort zone.

1% VS 99% (Safety) 

It takes 8 positives to overcome 1 negative!

99% of what is inside each and every one of us is intrinsically good and we struggle with only 1%. Mature adults may have a vice, young adults might have growing pains and teenagers can develop angst. The hard part is that often times that negative 1% can be over-powering; it can change lives, strain relationships and compromise what we know to be good. However, the adolescent can be overcome by the 1% Simply because they lack experience or are unaware of the consequences. 4WM helps students recognize what the 1% looks like to them and encourages them to refocus their energy toward the 99%, every day. We cannot feel Safe in an environment without the 99%.

The Value of an opinion! (Value) 

"What you think of me ... says a lot about you"!

4WM wants students to understand the importance of their opinion. As students grow and learn, they become independent thinkers, applying experience, growth and maturity to the decisions they make. Middle school students are on the cusp of articulating an opinion beyond likes and dislikes, and the value of a students opinion comes in the way they reach that opinion…and not just in having one. 4WM teaches students to understand the power of their opinion and how it influences the choices they make. Bullying often times begins with an opinion that differs from someone else, increasing the probability for conflict and resentment. 4Word Momentum challenges students on the “Value” of their opinion if it purposefully hurts another person simply because it is different than theirs.

What is on your chalk board? (Kindness) 

If I could read your mind…

There is a quote that states " ... treat people kinder than necessary for everyone is fighting some type of battle." What would happen if you could display that battle on a small chalk board so that people could read what is going on in your life? Is it possible others would treat you differently? 4WM asks students to recognize and treat everyone as if there is something written on their chalk board and to understand that how they interact with others can make things better or worse, for you never know what battle others may be fighting. 4WM asks, "What is on your chalk board?" Kindness comes with understanding and compassion.


4 Pillars For Character Development

Doing what’s right is not always popular.

For the middle school student, trusting what is right in your heart sometimes takes as much courage as a fireman in the line of duty. Raising your hand when you don't know the answer, volunteering to go first, speaking when witnessing an injustice or telling an adult when you know something's not right, takes a depth of courage that is complex and scary. As adults, we know that these things are not "scary" and are in fact necessary for growth and development. However, the middle school student may not understand the difference. 4WM re-introduces Courage and what courageous means. Courageous is standing up to a bully, but rather taking a stand on what can improve the situation.  

Without safety, we have nothing.

There are three zones in which the body and mind are intertwined: the Comfort Zone (well being), the Learning Zone (growth) and the Danger Zone (safety). A school's targeted goal is student growth, which only occurs in the Learning Zone. If students don't feel safe, then growth is impossible. Schools spend considerable time and resources keeping their school safe for their students, however schools can only do so much, as adults cannot be in all places at all times. We must expect our student body to take care of itself even when adults are not around. Safety goes beyond physical threats and must include an environment free of ridicule or slander and void of judgment or omission. Only then will students feel safe to learn and grow, free of compromise. 4WM strives to help the middle school student understand all the dynamics of Safety including support and empathy, trust and honesty. Safety is perhaps the Single most important pillar of character in the program.

The more you know about someone, the less likely you are to treat them badly.

In her book The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander, Barb Coloroso addresses the issue of teasing versus taunting. She states that "teasing" may be inaccurate in describing the bully, as teasing happens between equals. Taunting takes place when someone has little or no value for another individual. In other words, if two people have a shared value, all things are equal. The bully generates hate and contempt for those of no value. Value is the greatest asset in protecting people and property. When someone has value, we are less likely to bring harm to it. 4WM helps students recognize how to value one another, which may be the best way to curb bad behavior.

The foundation for humanity. Period.

Kindness is free and infinite. It requires a simple change in direction to implement and makes us feel as good about ourselves as the person who receives it. The quote "It is your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude" speaks to the possibility of what kindness can achieve. The long term rewards of practicing kindness far out way the short term gains of ruthlessness or greed. 4WM has several activities and deliverables to help kids walk away with kindness in their hearts, not just for themselves, but for others as well. Kindness will change your school.


The Ovation Company
501 South 17th Street
Coeur D’ Alene, ID 83814
Phone: 800-844-1979


“I'm not sure where to start with all of the things I want to say to you. At the same time, I will do my best not to ramble on endlessly. First of all, thank you for bringing your message and delivering it so passionately at Wildwood. You have had a significant impact on our school community. Multiple parents have used the word blessed to describe how they feel about their child having had the opportunity to learn from you. One of our students went home last night, immediately got on Facebook and posted, "Stu, you changed my life." I talked to him in my office today regarding a discipline referral I had purposefully set aside to wait until after yesterday. I have to tell you, I think you really did change his life. As long as he is under the roof of my school, I am not going to let him decide to change back. One of our 8th grade boys came to school with a sign he had made tied around his neck. The sign said,"I have been deaf since the age of 2 and I'm proud of it." a parent of a boy who has been made fun of because of his speech impediment sent me an email telling me that a boy who is not a friend of her son's called their house last night to apologize to him. This boy had not made fun of her son, but he called to say he was sorry for standing in silence as others had teased and been mean. Our staff cannot stop talking about you and they are planning lessons and activities to keep the "momentum" going strong. Thank you for starting this surge of kindness. ”


- Karen Hedrick
Assistant Principal
Wildwood Middle School


The Ovation Company
501 South 17th Street
Coeur D’ Alene, ID 83814
Phone: 800-844-1979

“I can't begin to thank you for the WONDERFUL day on Wednesday. My students and staff thoroughly enjoyed you, your keynote and the training. I really enjoyed getting to talk with you and Eric personally about your lives, career and passion for changing the culture of a school and the hearts of individuals. ”
- Scot A. Mosher, Ed. D. - Principal, Pattonville Heights Middle School

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