This summer Bellcate School kicked off a new course offering, Friendology: The Science of Friendship. This course is a 9 unit, 24 week program designed to teach students about friendship, how to make and maintain friendships.  “It is mostly assumed that people just know how to do this,” explains Jesse Bell, Bellcate Director. “This is unfortunate because making and keeping friends is actually quite complex and it is really rewarding to break this process down and to see our students begin to understand the nuances and feel more competent and confident.”  “I feel like I know how to make friends but I have always struggled with choosing the right friends for me,” explains Eric, Bellcate student.  Throughout the 9 unit “invitational model” students will learn about understanding friendship, becoming friends, learning about invitations, the four levels of encouraging and discouraging friendship, knowing yourself as a friend, creating invitations, making choices, resolving differences, choosing positive friendship behavior and self care. “It is amazing to hear students start to process their thoughts about friendship while simultaneously asking for help to develop the skills they need to improve, strengthen or even dissolve existing friendships,” states co-facilitator, Saben Littlefield.  With several weeks behind them, Bellcate students have responded to the new course with curiosity, engagement and genuine enthusiasm.  “I really like learning about this stuff.  Learning about the different types of friendship is so helpful in understanding the meaning of the friendships that I already have,” reflected Dakota, Bellcate student.