You’ll need to establish some guidelines with the students because this is the first session to set the tone for the program. It is most important that your students feel comfortable and respected. Make the girls and boys feel like this is a really special club. If possible, allow them to wear comfy clothes, eat snacks while you’re presenting, sit where they want, etc. Show them you trust them. Create an environment that feels less like another class and more like a safe place to hang out. Shift your role to be similar to that of a Counselor or Life Coach, so try to quiet your “Teacher voice” and talk to the kids like a friend giving advice…a Friendship Coach!
This session introduces children to the concept that we are all unique and the importance of honoring our differences. Through the use of their stuffies (also known as “soft toys” or teddy bears), students learn how to spark a new friendship, starting with introducing themselves. They then practice the art of conversation, an important life skill that is often overlooked and not explicitly taught. Once girls and boys know how to hold a conversation, they learn how to take it to the next level by finding something in common with someone to plant the seed for a new friendship to grow.