Zippy’s Friends

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Program description

Zippy’s Friends, offered by Partnership for Children, provides a lesson-based approach to SEL. It includes programming for grades K-2 and demonstrates evidence of effectiveness in grade 2. Translated materials for Zippy’s Friends are available in Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, Icelandic, Konkani, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, and Spanish.

Strategies supporting educational equity

Zippy’s Friends provides strategies for customizing for context. This includes indications within the lesson plans of places where teachers may need to pay special attention to children’s lived experience.

      • SEL lessons
      • Instructional practices
      • Relationship building
      • SEL generalization
      • Shared agreements
      • Systemic support for SEL
      • Adult SEL
      • Student supports
      • Family Intervention Component
      • Connecting Families With Community Supports
      • Activities and Resources for Home
    • Onsite in-person training
    • Virtual training
    • Offsite training
    • Train the trainer model
    • Administrator support
    • Coaching
    • Technical assistance
    • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
    • Online resource library
    • Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
    • Observational tools
    • Tools for measuring student success

Evidence of effectiveness

Results from a randomized control trial (RCT) conducted in the 2007-2008 academic year (published in 2012) supported the effectiveness of Zippy’s Friend for elementary school students. This evaluation included 1,271 grade 2 students in 35 urban schools in Norway. This evaluation found that students who participated in the program demonstrated reduced self-reported negative coping strategies and reduced teacher-reported mental health difficulties, as well as higher parent-reported positive coping strategies compared to students in the control group (outcomes reported approximately 24 weeks after pre-test, while controlling for baseline differences).

  • Evidence shown in grades
    School characteristics
      • Urban
      • Non-US location
    Student characteristics
    • Not Specified
    Percentage Low Income
    • Percentage of students whose parents have less than a high school diploma: 14%
    Study design type
    • RCT
    Greater than 350 students included in study design type
    • Yes
    Multiple school districts included at study design type
    • Yes
    • Improved academic performance
    • Reduced emotional distress
    • Improved identity development and agency
    • Reduced problem behaviors
    • Improved school climate
    • Improved school connectedness
    • Improved social behaviors
    • Improved teaching practices
    • Improved other SEL skills and attitudes

How does Zippy’s Friends support SEL implementation across multiple settings?

“During training, teachers are encouraged to spread the program ethos throughout the school by informing all staff about the strategies taught in the program. For parents and family members, there is a Home Activity for each program module for children to do with a family member, a Parents Guide to Zippy’s Friends’ booklet and a Zippy Tips card for each family.”
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  • Program approach: Free Standing Lessons
  • Significant evaluation outcomes: Reduced emotional distress, Improved other SEL skills and attitudes
  • School characteristics: Urban, Non-US location
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