Has our weekly #CharacterEdChat made you smile? It will this Thursday.

Spotted any good billboards lately?

There are some positively positive ones popping up around the country as part of the Smile Across America campaign, which will culminate in the International Day of Happiness on March 20.

In San Antonio, one of the billboards carries the message that “Superheroes are real. You’re one of them.” Barbara Gruener, a veritable CHARACTER COUNTS! superhero herself and author of What’s Under Your Cape?, partnered with The Joy Team to bring this positive message to her home state as part of the campaign.

And this Thursday (3/19) at 4:00 p.m. PST, CHARACTER COUNTS! will be joined by The Joy Team in its weekly #CharacterEdChat. Tune in on Twitter and find your happy face! We’ll talk about the relationship between character and happiness.

So … what’s with all these happy faces? Here are some cool facts about Smile Across America:

  • slide_401102_4959718_compressed37 billboards (22 static, 15 digital) are going up in 19 cities the week of March 16th and every one of them will be up in time for International Day of Happiness, a day created by the United Nations in 2012 to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal human goals.
  • The smile spans from Vancouver, WA (where The Joy Team is headquartered) to White Plains, NY; with “eyes” in Billings, MT; Casper, WY; Minneapolis, MN, and Des Moines, IA.
  • Estimated number of impressions (i.e., smiles) over the four week period: 10 million.
  • Partners of the campaign range from businesses to entrepreneurs to families, and one by the class of ’88 of a small high school in Estacada, OR, in honor of a classmate who passed on.
  • In Albuquerque there are 3 bilingual billboards with messages in English and Spanish.

“One positive message can make a huge difference in someone’s day,” says Michele McKeag Larsen, founder of The Joy Team. “Seeing that message on a big, yellow billboard is pretty surprising, and it infuses people with a boost of inspiration and optimism before they even realize it.”

“Love who you are. We do.” “Something wonderful is about to happen.” “Inhale. Exhale. Smile. Repeat.” “You make a difference. A big one.”

These are just some of the messages that will inspire and uplift people across the nation. A complete list of the smile cities, the messages in each, and the partners supporting them can be found at SmileAcrossAmerica.com. Images of the billboard designs can be downloaded from this Dropbox folder.

Remember to join #CharacterEdChat this Thursday! We hope you’ll chime in with questions or comments about spreading joy and good character across your community. We’re looking forward to chatting with you!