overcast clouds


Laguna Beach

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Spring Social Skills Program starts on April 10

Do you want your child to have an edge socially going into the next school year? How about wanting to help your child or teen make and keep friends? Do you have a child who is shy or doesn’t quite understand social cues?

Led by Certified PEERS Facilitator and Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Director of Social Emotional Development Jennifer MacDonell, M.A. Psychology, the Club presents its Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) to help children navigate and improve social skills and awareness.

The 8-week Peers Program begins on Wednesdays, April 10 and runs through May 8 at the Laguna Canyon Branch. The program is designed for children in second through six grades and their parent/caregiver and is $100. Scholarships are available. 

Boys and Girls MacDonnell

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Jennifer MacDonnel

PEERS is an 8-week evidence-based, social skills intervention for motivated pre-middle and middle school youth who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. During each group session youth are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during socialization activities (e.g. playing sports, board games, etc.).

An additional benefit is that children/teens enrolled obtain a short-term membership to the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Canyon Branch during the 8-week duration of the program and can attend any time during club operating hours.

To register: 

--First, call the Boys & Girls Club at (949) 715-7786 or email Jennifer MacDonell at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express your interest in PEERS for your child.

--Partake in a 15-minute intake call with Jennifer MacDonell to determine if our program is appropriate for you and your child/teen. 

--Receive a phone call within 48 hours and email verifying acceptance into program.

--Obtain paperwork for program enrollment sent out via email or pick up at 1085 Laguna Canyon Rd. Note: all paperwork must be completed prior to the start of the program. 

--Enrollment and payment (in full) deadline: two days prior to start of program on April 8 at 6 p.m.

Group times are from: 

--3 - 3:50 p.m. 2nd & 3rd grade

--4 - 4:50 p.m. 4th, 5th & 6th grade

--5 - 5:45 p.m. Parent/Guardian Group for all parents (one parent/guardian per child)

--5:45 - 6 p.m. Reunification with all parents and children (group game)

Note: participants may be placed in a group based on developmental abilities and group dynamics regardless of grade in school. Group instruction is provided in English. 

Guidelines are as following: 

--Limited to one child/teen and one parent/guardian per group for the 8 weeks. Note: if an additional parent would like to sit in a group, they can fill in for the parent enrolled for one or two sessions maximum. 

--Only one parent/guardian is allowed to attend per session, as it is not a couples/co-parenting group and the group leader is focused on the material for social skills to support the youth.

--Regular attendance is required! A parent/guardian is required to attend all sessions. If parent/youth misses more than one session, both are un-enrolled for the rest of the program series and there will be a no refund due to dismissal from the program.

--Classes are on Wednesdays between 3 - 6 p.m. depending on grade noted above.

Boys and Girls kids

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Kids enjoying a day in the life at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach

Pre and post-tests will be given to youth and parents for outcome measures to ensure the quality of the program. Also, group placement is determined at intake appointment and based on group dynamics.

Peer Program goals include:

--How to make and keep friends!

--Entering conversations: How to start, enter, and exit conversations between peers. 

--Trading information: How to use appropriate conversational skills.

--How to handle rejection, teasing, rumors/gossip, and cyber conversations. 

The following book is highly recommended to purchase, but not required for participation: The Science of Making Friends: Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults (w/DVD) by Elizabeth Laugeson.

Enrollment is limited. For more information, contact Jennifer MacDonell at (949) 715-7786 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible.

Boys & Girls Club Laguna Canyon Branch is located at 1085 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc.


© 2020 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.