The Friendship Duka is an annual event organised by the Elementary Parent Network, (EPN). Next Friday, 12th February, the event will be held during first and second break. First, at 9.20am – 9.40am, in the three Quads, (EC/KG, Grade 1-2-3 and Grade 4-5), then continuing during the lunchtime break in the Grade 1-2-3 Quad only.
This day is an opportunity for students to acknowledge and celebrate friendship, before embarking on their half-term break.
The EPN would like to encourage every child to buy a gift, (ranging from TSh 500 to TSh 5,000), for a friend in their class. Teachers will kindly help facilitate this, so that the friendship qualities found in each and every child can be appreciated. Last year, a special thank you was given to the Lower Elementary teachers for assisting the children and making sure that all were included in the acts of giving and receiving.
Proceeds from the Friendship Duka go towards funding various EPN events throughout the academic year. More than just a fundraising event, though, as parents and teachers we should keep to the fore that friendships are precious and vital across all ages. As well as providing comfort, companionship and excitement, friendships enable a child to develop a multitude of skills needed throughout life:
- Accepting others
- Apologising to others
- Asking for what one wants/needs
- Asking questions
- Complimenting others
- Expressing feelings
- Following rules of play; being a good sport, playing fairly, winning/losing gracefully
- Helping others
- Listening to others
- Refusing to join others’ negative behaviours
- Starting conversations
- Taking turns
Parents and teachers play an important role in helping children develop friendships. Through modelling, we set examples for children to follow through ways they manage relationships. We are also there to act as coaches for children, teaching helpful social skills and talking through friendship issues to help with solving problems. As children learn how to manage social situations, having opportunities to talk about friendships with parents and school staff helps children feel supported and develops their communication skills. (Adapted from kidsmatter.edu.au)
Wishing everyone a terrific Friendship Duka experience and hoping to hear tales of a play-date, or two, taking place over the February break!