Friend Smart

  Coordinator: Nicole Cilenti

Bullying has received a significant amount of media attention and has grown to be a public health concern. Studies show approximately 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Therefore SOCES PTA is taking a proactive approach to make a change, and the SOCES staff, teachers, parents, and students are joining us. Let’s be Friend Smart! An anti-bullying program, Friend Smart is an interactive educational curriculum developed to support SOCSD's character education efforts while fostering a respectful learning environment. This collaborative effort between parents, teachers, and school psychologist has several learning objectives:

1. Create awareness of being a good friend

2. Reduce bullying behaviors

3. Establish a healthy classroom environment

4. Increase productivity

5. Empower the children to become Friend Smart!

The curriculum consists of reading The Juice Box Bully, an Interactive Session where we discuss what friends look, sound, and feel like, role play, and read a class pledge which all children are asked to sign and display. Upon becoming Friend Smart the children receive a bracelet to signify their accomplishment and commitment.

FRIEND SMART Program Schedule:

Parent Assembly in October. Two to three 2-3 parent volunteers per class will become acclimated with the curriculum for turnkey interactive presentations in the classroom.

Interactive Sessions are conducted by early November.

Review via Art, Music and PE during the month of February.

Celebrate New Friends, Old Friends Week in May.

Celebrate Your Old Friends and Reach Out to New Ones

National New Friends, Old Friends Week! is a reminder of how vital friendships are for our emotional and physical well-being. This is a week to celebrate/reconnect with old friends and reach out to new ones.

Friend Smart celebrates the week by creating “building” messages to new friends, sending inspirational postcards to old friends, reading stories/poems about friendships, and reviewing their Friend Smart friendship building skills.  Here's a rundown of what's done. Ask your child about any or all of these interactive exercises which reinforce their learnings and empower them to continue making smart choices:

  • Introduce the concept of National New Friends, Old Friends Week.
  • Review the B.U.R.P. technique:
                B- Use words that build your friends up; not break them down. 
                U- Understand how others may feel. 
                R- Report to get your friends out of trouble. 
                P-Practice being a good friend.
  • Have each child create a message that would build a friend up.
  • Read a story to the class or allow them to select a book about friendship.
  • At home, think about a special friend that you have not seen in a while or spoken to and send them a postcard. 
  • Read and/or write a poem about friendship.
  • Congratulate students for being Friend Smart, for continuing to demonstrate their Friend Smart skills. 

These interactive exercises will reinforce their learnings and empower the children to continue making smart choices!