First Friends Social Skills Program
Building meaningful Connections
First Friends is a social skills program for children ages three to six who need help with joining play, establishing and maintaining friendships, and participating in group activities.
The program meets once per week over a period of six weeks. In each session, children have opportunities to participate in a range of social experiences, from cooperative play to group activities, with a focus on the social and emotional skills necessary for joining and being a member of a group. The program includes a parent orientation session prior to the start of the social skills group and parent participation in some of the sessions, depending on the social and emotional needs of the child. Parents may request an optional school observation of their child in his/her current school or group setting prior to the start of the social skills group.
The First Friends group meets on Thursdays from 1:00 – 2:30 pm. The fee is $350.00 for six sessions and includes the parent orientation and optional school observation.
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm : Arrival and play activities
1:30 pm – 1:40 pm: Clean-up and transition to group time
1:40 pm – 2:00 pm: Group activity (e.g., story time, circle time, group games)
2:00 pm – 2:20 pm: Art or fine motor activity
2:20 pm – 2:30 pm: Closing circle and goodbyes
Areas of Focus
Helping those who are shy or nervous around teachers and/or peers
Developing flexibility in social interactions, including playing cooperatively and sharing
Supporting the development of communication skills
Recognizing and respecting boundaries, personal space, and the feelings of others
“There can be many reasons for a child’s difficulties in the area of their social development, specifically with joining peers in play and collaboration. In addition to providing children with a positive group experience, one of the goals of First Friends is to understand the various reasons a child is struggling socially so that he or she can be helped in a way that is personal and meaningful.”
Early School Director and First Friends Coordinator/Teacher
First Friends Leader
Jennifer Reid, MA
Early School Director and In-School Therapeutic Services Coordinator, Lucy Daniels School
Ms. Reid earned a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New York University. She has been teaching and working with children since 2000. She joined the Lucy Daniels School in 2005 and has taught in their therapeutic preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school classrooms. She currently serves as a mentor for therapeutic teachers and coordinates the clinical and school services provided at the Lucy Daniels School therapeutic day school. Ms. Reid is also a part of the Lucy Daniels Center’s outreach program: she leads professional development workshops for teachers in the community; she observes children in early childhood settings throughout the Triangle and provides feedback and guidance to teachers to help support their students’ social and emotional development; and she writes articles for parents in publications such as Carolina Parent. Her areas of interest include therapeutic teaching and using a psycho-dynamic understanding of development to help children reach their highest potential as learners and members of a group.