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June 09 , 2009

The Making Friends Program

Supporting Acceptance in Your K–2 Classroom


Bullying prevention starts with helping young children understand and accept diversity—the earlier the better. That's why your school team needs this ready-to-use resource, a simple, fun, and effective way to promote social acceptance in the critical early years of attitude development.

Perfect for K–2 classrooms, this book presents the field-tested, research-based Making Friends program, a toolbox of adaptable, practical strategies that fit right into your regular school day. You'll help students respect and accept each other's differences through three methods: 1) reading diversity-themed stories and conducting brief whole-class discussions; 2) forming small learning groups that encourage children from diverse backgrounds to play and interact; and 3) sharing the storybooks you read with families so they can continue discussions at home. 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 you create a welcoming, inclusive, and culturally responsive classroom.


  • enrich your existing classroom activities—circle time, class discussion, cooperative play—with important lessons on social acceptance
  • strengthen students' literacy skills while they learn to accept and celebrate differences
  • support friendships among children of diverse abilities, backgrounds, and family structures
  • lay the groundwork for bully-free school environments
  • choose books, toys, and other materials that reflect our diverse world and give young children a sense of belonging
  • implement a universal design for learning (UDL) approach to address the needs of diverse learners
  • "think on your feet" to work lessons on acceptance into small teachable moments and everyday conversations
  • increase the home-school connection with strategies parents can use with their children
  • strengthen understanding of how acceptance is developed through reflective activities for teachers and school-wide teams

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: The book includes a complete package of reproducible, adaptable materials for implementing the Making Friends program, including a sample activity schedule, discussion guides, and forms to send home with families. You'll also get step-by-step directions on working the activities into your school day, extensive lists of diversity resources, vignettes that model positive interactions, and more.

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