Description of Program
Forest Friends is a puppet-based primary prevention program designed to help children ages 5-9 learn skills in conflict resolution, decision-making and anger management.
The program is designed to equip children with the coping skills they will need to enable them to grow up resilient to the risks of violence and substance abuse. Each story helps children recognize common reactions to life situations. These youngsters are then given alternative methods to deal more positively with anger, disappointment, peer pressure, and confrontational conflicts.
Forest Friends is designed to help children learn basic life skills and character enhancement that they will use their entire life. Each session includes a story portrayed by animal puppets, a discussion and an activity to reinforce the lesson conveyed by the story. Presented weekly for six weeks, the stories build off one another so that each presentation teaches a lesson while reinforcing previous lessons. All eyes are locked on the lovable puppets that take center stage.
Forest Friends addresses the following topics:
- Lesson 1: Feelings
- Lesson 2: Truth and Trust
- Lesson 3: Making Decisions
- Lesson 4: Anger/Conflict Management
- Lesson 5: Coping Skills
- Lesson 6: Review
The children can identify with the realistic situations the puppets encounter in Forest Friends, and learn how to emotionally deal with similar situations in their own life. Through evaluations given to each teacher at the completion of the program, the following outcomes have been observed from their students; increased interpersonal and developmental skills, increased expression of feelings in an appropriate manner, students plan ahead and consider the positive and negative consequences in their decision making practices, increased coping skills in sad situations, and students turning to someone they can trust for support.
For additional information, please contact:
Heather Ward, MSW, LSW, CPS
or call at 732-254-3344 ext. 120