Score A Friend

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Score A Friend Website Poster Image
Program synopses serve as an invitation to get involved.

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The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about some of the social barriers persons with disabilities may face. The site content provides reading experience, and a map of the organization's club locations offers some brief exposure to geography. Actually getting involved with the organization, though, will help kids take the information they've read about on the site to the next level. Sponsoring a project or club requires initiative and can help kids build goal-setting, leadership, and other skills. They will hopefully also learn to respect others, embrace differences, and proactively enact change.

Positive Messages

The site stresses a number of values, including respect, kindness, and service to the community.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The site sells some branded apparel, but kids aren't urged to buy it.  


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Score A Friend was founded by a teenager who noticed her twin brother, who is autistic, was struggling to make friends and gain positive social experiences. The organization and website promote values such as respect, kindness, acceptance, and service leadership. Kids are encouraged to start an inclusion club, inclusion awareness project, or two other types of inclusion projects within their community. Kids can also learn about the organization's impact or make a donation through the site.  


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What's it about?

After noticing her twin brother, who has autism, didn't have a single friend in 7th grade, Sarah Greichen founded SCORE A FRIEND. The organization’s website features some information about starting a Score A Friend project or club to help build more inclusive schools and communities. Some project suggestions, for instance, include hosting a panel discussion or creating an inclusion-based social media campaign. Basic program details are on the site; more specific materials are provided separately after kids register to volunteer. 

Is it any good?

The organization -- and website's -- emphasis on volunteerism and making a difference is commendable. Kids are encouraged on Score A Friend to set up an inclusion-oriented club in their area or undertake projects to encourage inclusion, raise awareness, help alter school or other environments to be more inclusive, or promote disability inclusion through a five-day set of events. Kids can view a few items about Score A Friend-related projects and a map showing where inclusion clubs are located -- although there's not much information about the individual groups. The site also includes some brief information about the negative effects persons with disabilities can experience due to segregation and discrimination -- including employment challenges and having a negative self-image -- and the positive things inclusion can offer all individuals, such as social cognitive growth. Each of the four types of projects the site suggests can potentially help kids become more responsible and get involved in their community -- which are also positive outcomes.

Depending on kids' age, in many (if not most) instances, a parents or other adult will likely need to be at least somewhat involved to help plan and execute projects. The organization says it provides program forms, planning tools, educational videos, and other resources through its SAF Canvas system once a volunteer has completed the registration to host an event or club. But the information the site offers is more of an overview of each program's intent. Some offer a few brief examples of events kids might organize, but they'll probably need more information and actionable tasks to truly get started, though. For example, creating inclusive jobs, housing, recreation, and social opportunities is listed as a project goal, but kids don't get a ton of guidance on specifically how they can achieve that. As long as kids understand the Score A Friend site essentially summarizes the ways to get involved with the cause -- and they'll need to register to find out more -- it can serve as a great starting point to help them increase disability inclusion.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of volunteering -- and how sites like Score A Friend have made connecting with organizations that need help easier. What safe practices should kids use when getting involved with a cause?

  • Has your child ever heard mean or hurtful language at school? What did they do? What did the school do?

  • How can kids react when they hear someone else say something derogatory about another person? 

Website details

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