Thrive By Five

Friends School = Healthy, Happy and Engaged Students

November 05, 2019 | BY Katherine Ray, Community School Director at PS 171Q

For the last several years, PS 171Q has been fortunate enough to partner with NYU Langone Medical Center through Zone 126 to provide additional support to our Pre-K students and their families through the NYU ParentCorps program. The NYU ParentCorps program is a research-based, family-centered intervention that aims to help parents and early childhood teachers create environments in which children thrive. The NYU ParentCorps program has two models the first being the parent program and the second being Friends School which is specifically geared towards students. The Friends School program is a 14-week social-emotional learning curriculum implemented by Pre-K classroom teachers.

The Friends School program at PS 171Q began in early October and the Pre-K teachers have been implementing the curriculum faithfully and integrating the lessons around friendship, healthy habits, self-control and emotional regulation during their designated time, and building upon them throughout the course of the day. Each of the classrooms have posters prominently displayed, as friendly reminders to students about classrooms procedures and expectations. As veteran teacher Ms. Cassidy said, “Friends School rules are our rules. They are one and the same.” The curriculum features a very lifelike puppet, which teachers use to engage students in a fun way. Mr Guasto said of his classroom puppet, “Jasmine is more than a puppet – she’s an extension of the class. The students see her as one of them, with real thoughts and feelings.” The program has been established as part of the school’s early childhood fabric as a way to build successful habits for students at the very beginning. The program has become quite popular with school administration, teachers, families and even students. Last week a student was overheard as she was walking into the school building “Friends School today?”

 

In photo: Jasmine comes to life with the help of Ms. Alvarez, the classroom paraprofessional in Pre-K 137

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