South Orangetown Community Elementary Schools PTA

William O. Schaefer Elementary School ~ Cottage Lane Elementary School

Empowering children to make the right choices

When faced with a need help children understand the importance of good hygiene, Kristan Bridges approached SOCES PTA about meeting that need. She worked with SOCSD administrators, teachers and parents to design and implement Germ Smart, eventually partnering with a local businesses to provide  the necessary supplies.  When again faced with a need to help children navigate social situations, Ms. Bridges developed Freind Smart in partnership with school administrators, teachers and parents. Both programs were designed with existing curriculum and developmental milestones in mind. These programs help empower our children to make the right choices when faced with various health and social issues. If you have any questions, or would like to become involved with the program, email us.  

Can you spare an hour on Tuesday, October 20th?
The PTA is in need of 4 volunteers to work the parent assembly for Germ Smart & Friend Smart. These 4 volunteers would be setting up and signing in parents, handing out materials.

Sign up 

              FRIEND SMART                   GERM SMART

Bullying has received a significant amount of media attention and has grown to be a public health concern. Studies show approximately 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Therefore SOCES PTA is taking a proactive approach to make a change, and the TZE staff, teachers, parents, and students are joining us. Let’s be Friend Smart! A New Anti-Bullying Program, Friend Smart is an interactive educational curriculum developed to support TZE’s character education efforts while fostering a respectful learning environment. This collaborative effort between parents, teachers, and school psychologist has several learning objectives:

1. Create awareness of being a good friend

2. Reduce bullying behaviors

3. Establish a healthy classroom environment

4. Increase productivity

5. Empower the children to become Friend Smart!

The curriculum consists of reading The Juice Box Bully, an Interactive Session where we discuss what friends look, sound, and feel like, role play, and read a class pledge which all children are asked to sign and display. Upon becoming Friend Smart the children receive a bracelet to signify their accomplishment and commitment.

FRIEND SMART Program Schedule:

Parent Assembly in October. Two to three 2-3 parent volunteers per class will become acclimated with the curriculum.

Interactive Sessions are conducted by early November.
Review via Art, Music and PE during the month of February.

Celebrate New Friends, Old Friends Week in May.

The first of the Empower programs, Germ Smart was developed to educate students in K-1 at WOS on the importance of proper hand washing.  Parent volunteers attend an informational assembly that prepares them to partner with teachers in the classrooms.  Together, they help students learn about germs and hygeine through fun, interactive demonstrations. Since Germ Smart was implemented two years ago, there has been a 20% decrease in absenteeism and a 40% decrease in visits to the school nurse at WOS!


Wednesday, Jun 20 at 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM