AMP | Kids is proud to announce an ongoing partnership with The Mini Page, now in its 50th year of providing engaging and fun learning opportunities to young readers across the country. This feature was originally syndicated in newspapers the week of August 10 – August 16, 2019. It is distributed digitally here with permission from Andrews McMeel Syndication. Enjoy and share with the young learners in your life!

Are you wondering what school might be like this year? Many kids get a little anxious about the new year beginning. While it probably won’t take long for you to feel at home, we wanted to pass on some ideas that might help.

What does “social” mean?

When we say someone is social, we mean that they get along with others. They make the right choices. They respond to others’ needs. They are good companions, friends and members of the school community. Sometimes, kids might feel that they don’t fit in or that they don’t belong. We all have “social problems” at one time or another.

Be a social helper

That’s where a social helper might step in. These students are aware of the clues when a classmate is in need of a friend, a smile, a pat on the back or a compliment. By being sensitive to the feelings of others and doing something that helps, kids get a good feeling themselves. True, kids can’t solve all problems, but they can help. It’s the job of teachers, principals and counselors to help, too.

Kids who are sensitive to others’ feelings also have these traits:

  • Responsibility
  • Hard work
  • Self-discipline
  • Loyalty
  • Caring
  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Respect

Let’s think about some clues of social problems and what a solution might be.

In the lunchroom

Clue: A girl is sitting at a lunch table. Nobody is sitting on either side of her. She feels very alone.

Suggestion for social helpers: Go and sit in one of the vacant seats next to her. Talk about something you think she might be interested in. Enjoy lunchtime together.

On a school bus

Clue: One kid is teasing another kid, who is getting upset at being picked on.

Suggestion for social helpers: Ask the kid being teased to come and sit by you so she can move away from the teaser.

On the playground

Clue: A boy is walking around the edge of the playground by himself. He is not taking part in any games.

Suggestion for social helpers: Walk up to the kid with a smile on your face and ask him to join in your group.

What do helpers do?

Students who are social helpers are usually also leaders in the classroom. We call these kids role models. How can you be a leader in your class?

  • Volunteer for a class job. Many teachers choose students to do regular chores in the classroom. Tell your teacher you’d like to have a job.
  • Offer to help others. Are you really good at math or art? Talk with your teacher about helping other students with subjects that you love.
  • Follow the rules when you’re playing a game, and be kind to those who don’t play as well as you.
  • Know when to say you’re sorry. If you’ve made a mistake, be willing to apologize and do what’s needed to make it right.
  • Be positive. Give a compliment to someone. Smile. Share a joke.

More ideas?

What other ideas do you have about being a social helper? Share your thoughts


On the Web:

At the library:

  • Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler

  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Teachers: For standards-based activities to accompany this feature, visit Andrews McMeel Syndication. And follow The Mini Page on Facebook!



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