Be a Friend


Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand: How Young People Can Reduce Bullying, Disrespect & “Drama”

Embrace Civility in the Digital Age’s research-based youth-led, positive norms program:

  • Encourages young people to positively intervene when they witness bullying or other hurtful situations.
  • Encourages young people not to be hurtful and to remedy the harm if they have been.
  • Provides positive strategies young people can use to become more self-confident and resilient.

Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand incorporates strategies that focus on reinforcing positive peer norms and imparting effective skills. This program is appropriate for intermediate, middle, and high school aged young people. The program has been designed to be used in schools and also a wide range of youth organizations, including after-school programs, youth organizations, religious organizations, and summer camps.

The Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand program includes the following components. You may freely preview parts of this program by clicking on the links below. These resources are provided for preview only and may not be reproduced or used.

  • A 9 page 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. (A 10th page can be added that can personalize this booklet for the school or organization that purchases this program.)
  • A 62 slide Slideshow for young people that provides the basis to foster discussion.
  • A Survey that can be used to identify young people’s norms and skills. This Survey can be provided in paper format. Or the questions can be delivered electronically on a service such as Survey Monkey or using Google Forms.
  • A 10 page reproducible Adult Guide that provides the research basis for this program and sets forth recommendations for immediate intervention approaches by adults directly working with youth. 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. A one page “refresher” document that provides concise insight into how to respond to a variety of hurtful situations is also under development and will be part of this package. (More extensive investigations and interventions are addressed in Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere.)
  • A narrated slideshow that covers the information provided in the Adult Guide that can be used for professional development. The combination of the Adult Guide, this narrated slideshow, and a quiz that will be provided should quality for Continuing Education Units for educators. The slides for this slideshow are provided for preview.

For those who might need to address the issue of bullying within a Summer Camp or other youth organization environment, an additional document is provided at no charge: Positive Relations @ Summer Camp. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed.


While most young people think bullying and other hurtful behavior is wrong, studies have shown they rarely intervene when they see this is occurring. Increasingly, the positive involvement of witnesses has been recognized as a critically important prevention and early intervention strategy.

As young people interact using digital technologies, a focus on positive interventions by witnesses becomes even more important, because often young people interact in digital environments where adults are not present. Further, studies have shown that young people often do not report negative experiences to adults, but they do tell their friends.

The Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand program is an approach that seeks to reduce the barriers for peer intervention in situations where bullying or conflict is witnessed. Two key barriers to be addressed are perception of risk to self, primarily risk to social status, that might occur as a result of intervening and the lack of skills to intervene in a manner that will be both safe and effective.

Young people who witness hurtful behavior are encouraged to:

  • Reach Out.  Reach out to be kind to the person being hurt and help to resolve conflict.
  • Say, “Stop.”  Publicly or privately tell the person being hurtful to stop.
  • Report Concerns. Tell an adult who can help.

It is necessary to help those young people who do engage in hurtful behavior to reflect on their actions and stop. To restore relationships, it is also necessary that they take steps to remedy the harm.

Young people who are the target of hurtful behavior could suffer from significant emotional harm. Positive strategies can be used to increase their self-confidence and gain greater resiliency.

Introductory Pricing for Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand

All of the Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand program materials are provided to schools and groups in a digital format. Schools and groups are responsible for reproduction of the student handout, student survey, and adult guide and can display the slideshow and video.

To ensure that the price reflects the size of the school or group, the price is determined by the number of young people typically in the school or group. Elementary schools should only count 4th – 6th grade students, as this is too advanced for younger grades.

This is a one time payment that will allow the school or group 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 group. This price will increase in August. You can send a P.O. via email. You can send a P.O. or check to 474 W 29th Avenue, Eugene Oregon 97405.

Example: If your school or group typically has around 540 young people, the current one time price for licensing is $540.

You can also purchase through PayPal. When purchasing through PayPal under “quantity” you will need to add the approximate number of young people in your school or group. The price will be calculated from this.

Information Flyer

An Information Flyer that includes the information on this page can be downloaded.


I would like to specifically thank Gary McDaniel, Clinical School Social Worker in Morgan Country Schools, West Virginia. Gary has been an early user of my positive norms strategies in his schools. His practical guidance on what works and what does not work has been exceptional helpful. I would also like to thank  Mary C. Friesz, doctoral student, for her assistance in some of the early stages of my research. Also, my discussions with Karen Siris have been exceptionally helpful. Karen is a principal in Long Island and author of Stand Up, an incredibly excellent book for elementary students on stepping up to help if a student is being bullied.

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