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News from the Friendship Program

Date: September 12, 2010 Author: admin Categories: News, Parent Updates, Tips

Greetings to all Brittan Acres Families,

I’m Laura Macfarlane, Friendship counselor at Brittan Acres School. This is my 10th year here at B.A. working to promote social and emotional learning and well-being for our students and families. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a PPS credential to work as a school counselor. Prior to coming to Brittan Acres, I worked as a counselor in the Boston public schools.

Our school community is committed to educating the whole child. This includes academic as well as social and emotional learning. As part of this effort, we teach and practice a specific lifeskill each month. During the month of September, all of our students are learning about friendship, which is our lifeskill for the first month of school.

In Kindergarten-2nd grade, I am teaching a lesson to each class about similarities and differences among friends. The third and fourth grade classroom lessons are focusing on behaviors and skills to prevent bullying as well as having fun with friends. Literature is always part of these lessons and a great way for parents to reinforce friendship skills at home.

Below are a few books that focus on friendship skills. Check the local library for these resources.

  • “It’s Okay to Be Different” by Todd Parr
  • “The Sandwich Swap” by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah, et al
  • “Confessions of A Former Bully” by Trudy Ludwig
  • “Enemy Pie” by Derek Munson
  • “The Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neil
  • “Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me: The Top 25 Friendship Problems and How to Solve Them” by Michele Borba (for parents)

Friendship skills typically develop as children have social experiences and receive support and training from adults.

The following is a list of 12 essential skills children think are important in order to make and keep friends: (courtesy of Michael Grose,

  • Share possessions and space
  • Keep confidences and secrets
  • Offer to help
  • Accept other’s mistakes
  • Be positive and enthusiastic
  • Start a conversation
  • Win and lose well
  • Listen to others
  • Start and maintain a conversation
  • Ignore someone who is annoying you
  • Cooperate with others
  • Give and receive compliments

I hope you find this information useful and look forward to a great year working together.

Laura Macfarlane, PPSC, MSW

Friendship Counselor – Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays

Read more about the Friendship Program here.

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