Be a Friend


Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand:

How Young People Can Powerfully Promote Positive Relations

The Situation:

The majority of young people, especially at the secondary level, do not report bullying or harassment to adults. This is likely because they want to be able to resolve these situations on their own or they do not trust adults to make things better. The majority of these hurtful situations occur in the presence of other young people, not adults. This is especially true when young people use digital technologies. We need to help young people learn effective skills.

The majority of young people think that those who engage in bullying are “popular.” This is an assessment of the social status of these young people in the eyes of other young people. But young people do not personally like to see bullying behavior and do not admire those who are hurtful. Thus, there is a significant misperception of the actual norms. When young people recognize the accurate norms, bullying will decrease and positive peer intervention will increase.

Many young people would like to help when they see someone being hurtful. When young people do intervene, they are often successful in getting the hurtful situations to stop. Bullied young people who have supportive friends experience less distress. Young people highly admire those who step in to help. But when bullying situations do occur, most young people do not step in to help. We often tell young people they should speak up to stop bullying. Publicly confronting someone engaged in bullying presents major risks of retaliation or humiliation. To increase positive peer intervention requires helping young people gain safe and effective skills and emphasizing their peer’s admiration of those who step in to help.

Many young people engage in bullying to gain social status, by demonstrating their power over those who are “different.” Other young people are lashing back because they have been treated badly. These young people need assistance in stopping & making things right.

Young people who are bullied, especially chronically, often present themselves as lacking self-confidence and personal power. These young people can suffer long term emotional harms. When these young people have connections with supportive others, focus on positive activities and future opportunities, and gain self-confidence in presenting themselves and responding to hurtful situations, they can become positive and powerful.


Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand: How Young People Can Powerfully Promote Positive Relations

Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand is a thoroughly research-grounded, youth-led program for pre-teens and teens, promotes positive norms and teaches effective skills to increase positive peer intervention, restoration of hurtful incidents, and resiliency. Young people are taught to:

  • Reach Out. Reach out to be kind to a person being hurt or help friends resolve conflict.
  • Say, “Stop.” Safely tell a person being hurtful to stop in private or publicly.
  • Report Concerns. Tell an adult who can help about situations that are serious.
  • Stop & Make Things Right. Stop yourself from being hurtful and make things right if you were.
  • Be Positive & Powerful. Reduce the potential others will be hurtful to you and respond effectively if someone is.

The program has been designed to be used in schools and a wide range of youth organizations, including after-school programs, youth clubs, religious organizations, and summer camps.

READ THIS short document for an overview of the approach.


The Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand program includes the following components. You may freely preview components of this program by clicking on the links below. These resources are provided for preview only and may not be reproduced or used with staff or young people. You are, however, able to preview the entire program.

  • A reproducible Booklet for students that addresses hurtful behavior, being a helpful ally, reaching out to be kind, saying “stop,” reporting concerns, not being hurtful and remedying the harm, and a positive action plan to become more self-confident. Reproduction costs are the responsibility of the purchaser.
  • A reproducible Implementation Guide that provides the research basis for this program. This Guide provides vitally important information that all staff should know about underlying factors that perpetuate bullying, and how to encourage positive peer intervention, encourage those being hurtful to stop and remedy the harm, and assist students who are targeted in gaining greater self-confidence. Short professional development videos that introduce these concepts are under development and will be provided with the program.
  • An optional Survey that can be used to identify young people’s norms, skills, and current incident rates. This Survey should be delivered electronically on a service such as Survey Monkey. The purchaser will have to implement the Survey on such a site. Instructions are provided. Schools are encouraged to use the Survey.
  • A Slideshow for young people. There are 2 versions of this Slideshow. One contains the addition of charts from the Survey.
  • A Youth Leadership Guide that provides guidance for those young people who are providing leadership in implementing the program.
  • A Youth Objectives document that is to be used in conjunction with the Survey, where the young people note current data and set forth positive objectives.
  • A Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand set of recommended Activities that can be used in organizations that allow members to earn pins or badges.


To ensure that the price reflects the size of the school or organization, the price is determined by the number of young people typically in the school or organization. Thus, a church group that typically has 30 young people would pay $30. A school that typically has 1,500 students, would pay $1,500. For schools, districts, or organizations with a greater number of young people than 1,500, contact us for discounted purchasing.

This is a one time payment that will allow the school or organization to reproduce the materials for young people and adults affiliated with the program into the future. If materials are revised, changed graphically, or additional resources are added, these will also be included in the original purchase price.

The introductory price is $1.00 per young person in the school or organization. You can send a P.O. via email. You can send a P.O. or check to 474 W 29th Avenue, Eugene Oregon 97405.

You can also purchase through PayPal. When purchasing through PayPal under “quantity” you will need to add the typical number of young people in your school or group. The price will be calculated from this. Upon payment, you will be immediately directed to a page where you can download all of the resources.

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