What We Do

Who We Are

Friends Grow Friends Foundation®, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that runs social skills friendship clubs for children in grades K-12.

Mission

Our mission is to provide children with an opportunity outside of school hours to learn and practice social skills with their peers.

Goals

  • Helping children develop stronger social skills
  • Giving children the opportunity to meet and make friends
  • Teaching them how to grow and maintain friendships
  • Reducing the sense of loneliness and frustration in children who struggle socially
  • Increasing their self-confidence with peers
  • Helping children to have a more fulfilling and happier childhood
  • Meeting new friends and finding a place where they are comfortable to be themselves.

The Program

Friends Grow Friends Foundation®, Inc. social skills friendship clubs will run for one 60 minute session per week in the after school hours.  In addition to our in-person groups, we also offer online video gaming groups.

Some of the children who we serve have mild to moderate special needs while others have no diagnosis but struggle socially.  All of the children in our program are interested in building friendships and finding peers with whom they share similar interests.

We focus on building social skills through different activities that include, but are not limited to:

  • typical playdate activities
  • recess games
  • sports
  • community service
  • community-based activities including but not limited to trips to the park/beach, miniature golf, shopping, eating at a restaurant, Yestercades, and more

In all sessions, we will work on:

  • Initiating social interaction
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Making friends and nurturing friendships
  • Flexible thinking
  • Conflict resolution
  • Frustration management strategies
  • Good sportsmanship
  • Program customized to participants’ needs

Other program highlights:

  • Low child to instructor ratio, plus additional volunteers onsite
  • Programming developed collectively by a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) and an interdisciplinary team consisting of professionals from education and mental health fields
  • Utilization of peer mentors
    • Peer mentors  are similarly aged students who provide a strong example of pro-social behavior.  We utilize our peer mentors to help more naturally facilitate conversation within the groups as well as to provide respectful feedback.  The kids don’t know who is a peer mentor and who is not — everyone participates in the same way! 
  • High school students are offered an optional dinner hour after their group to continue socializing and connecting with peers
  • Weekly recaps and mini progress reports sent to families (in-person sessions only)
  • Consultations with Kristin Foley, M.Ed, BCBA (free of charge) offered during some of our 6 or 8-week sessions

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