Friendship Circles

The Friendship Circles service is a direct support to the North and West Vancouver School Districts in their work to promote the inclusion of students with disabilities.

Friendship Circles are supported play groups for students with developmental disabilities who face barriers to socialization with their classroom peers. The goal of Friendship Circles is to form inclusive lunch or recess play groups that include the child, yet remain focused on an enjoyable, fair activity as opposed to social, cultural, economical, or cognitive differences.

Friendships that are formed between children lead to positive mirroring and reinforcement, and more empathy towards each other’s needs in school and in the community. The Friendship circles provide children with a comfortable environment to engage in play and form natural bonds. The benefit of the circles for children with disabilities are new and natural friendships, increased social opportunities, relationships and networks, and enhanced communication skills. The benefit for children without disabilities are increased appreciation and acceptance of individual differences, respect for all school students, and the opportunity to interact and teach their peers. The circles also impact teachers as they learn techniques for integration in the classroom and parents as the circles are a free and accessible service for their children.

Children who wish to join the Circle meet with the Facilitator once a week over the lunch hour. They play a variety of games and activities that support the social development of all the children.

How to Get Started

For more information, please contact

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