In This IssueHighlights | Events | Announcements | Contribute
Happy Summer Solstice!


It's the season for sleeping in, spending time with friends, and escaping the heat at the movies, in the mall, or on the beach.

At Circle of Friends, we're reflecting on the many stories we heard from our schools this year.
The joy and gratitude teachers and students shared really proves that kindness is contagious.

Sadly, we live in a world where bullying, school shootings, and youth suicide, and are in the news and on our minds.   

In Circle of Friends students learn that 'We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike," as Maya Angelou wrote in her poem, "Human Family."    

Enjoy the newsletter, and enjoy your summer! 

In Friendship,
Circle of Friends

highlights Highlights
Showcasing Circle of Friends at Sunkist Elementary
By: Sunkist Elementary Advisors

It was an honor to showcase Sunkist Elementary Schools Circle of Friends program at the V.C.O.E. Me-Seum of best practices of Ventura County on February 7th. Circle of Friends is a social inclusion program that allows students with special needs to have opportunities to develop genuine friendships with non-disabled peers.  This is our first year involved in the Circle of Friends program and it has been very successful at our school.  Our team consists of the assistant principal, one general education teacher, the school counselor and one special education teacher.  We have seen improved social engagement, increased comfort to communicate and a commitment to participate.  

At the Me-Seum of best practices we were given the opportunity to share our success stories and strategies with our surrounding community schools. One of the highlights of the evening was explaining to our colleagues how we choose our Friends and Peer Friends.  We didn't necessarily choose students with identified needs through the I.E.P. process (although they were included).  Some students were chosen based on identified needs that were observed by the counselor and general education teacher.  Another highlight of the evening was to be able to share our kindness books made by our students and the kindness photo booth for everyone who visited our booth. It was a fun evening and a great opportunity to meet friends from all over the county!  

A photo of Sunkist Elementary's advisors
Featured Chapter Photo

Students of the Circle of Friends Chapter at Jefferson Elementary warming up by their "camp fire"
Imperial County - Circle of Friends Video
Imperial County - Circle of Friends Video
Featured District Video

We're happy to share this video from the Imperial County Office of Education highlighting the Circle of Friends chapters in their district!
#PeerCnnekt and David Smith

Our very own David Smith recently sat down to speak with thecnnekt to speak about inclusion and making the world a better place. To read the article  click here.
In The News
How to Come to Life | Thomas ILAND | TEDxYouth@Brambleton
"How To Come To Life"

Our 2019 Social Impact Award recipient, Thomas Iland, delivers an impactful speech on excelling beyond personal struggles for youth's success - and creating an educational system that can assist.
Upcoming Events  Upcomingevents
Circle Summer 2019
July 8 - July 31 

Circle Summer promotes social inclusion for teens and young adults with disabilities. Our program creates friendships with college-age peers/group leaders, increases community awareness, and builds life skills and connections for young adults, local businesses & supporters.

Our annual SpringFest (dinner, awards ceremony, and talented performers) occurred on May 4, 2019. See photos of the event below!

To view more pictures from the evening, visit our website.
Our offices previously located in Mar Vista have shifted to a new home in Commerce:

5800 S. Eastern Ave., Ste. #500
Commerce, CA 90040
(323) 629-4178
We Want to Hear From You!

We are always looking to add the voices of the staff, children, and parents impacted by our programs. If you would like to share encouragement, events, photos or videos, please e-mail us

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