Announcing The Making Friends Program

How does social connection among teens relate to emotional wellbeing?

Recent research conducted at the University of Queensland has found that social exclusion among teens can be more harmful than direct bullying. “Of particular note, social exclusion has a strong association with adolescents’ psychological distress and low emotional wellbeing.“ The study also emphasizes that exclusion is especially challenging because social exclusion is such a subtle behaviour and is less likely to prompt a response from adults. For this reason, it is crucial that adults, especially teachers are fostering a sense of connection and belonging at a young age.

This is why we are delighted to share that with the contribution of Paddy Cronin Favazza, a participant of our Overcoming Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness 2014 Symposium, an evidenced-based educational resource called The Making Friends Program has recently been published. The book is an accumulation of research on the attitude development of young children and provides strategies for creating a sense of belonging for all children.

Using this comprehensive resource, teachers, coaches, parents and community leaders are equipped with a toolbox of adaptable, practical strategies that help students respect and accept each other’s differences. Aligned with DEC/NAEYC recommended practices and the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards, this proven program will boost students’ social and academic skills as educators create a welcoming, inclusive, and culturally responsive classroom.

The book not only includes materials for implementing the Making Friends program, but also gives step-by-step directions on working the activities into your regular school day. With the use of this program teachers can support friendship amongst children of diverse abilities, strengthen literacy skills, and develop a stronger understanding of how acceptance is formed.

As tweeted by Dr. Dorothy Espelage, the national recognized advocate on anti-bullying, the book helps build supportive environments early in life.

Thank you again to Paddy Cronin Favazza for her contribution to this book and to the field of social development and education.

If you are interested in purchasing the book please visit Brookes Publishing Co.