AIM (Arthur Interactive Media) Buddy Program

AIM is a cross-age buddy program designed to promote social, emotional and character development in elementary school students. Instead of traditional story books, AIM uses interactive stories and games, based on PBS’s Arthur series, that allow students to interact with characters, explore multiple perspectives and consider the impact of actions.

Created by the WGBH Educational Foundation and the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, AIM is designed to be a supplement to existing social, emotional and character development curricula, with a goal of encouraging discussions around topics that may be difficult for teachers and students to address in class.

AIM includes five interactive stories and games and each one focuses on a specific topic: empathy, honesty, forgiveness, generosity and learning from others. Exploring these topics with students helps build skills that enable them to think more critically and be more accountable for their actions and relations with others.

In the AIM Buddy Project, cross-age buddy pairs (ideally, two grades apart: 1st/4th or 2nd/5th) meet to listen to an interactive story or play an online game together. Embedded questions prompt students to talk about the characters’ feelings and perspectives and explore how to resolve conflicts.

The interactive stories and games serve as a platform to advance these goals because they allow children to interact with the characters, which can help them relate to the story and understand the choices each character makes.

The AIM Educator’s Guide walks you through the curriculum with instructions and short educator planning videos, featuring teachers who have used the AIM program.

Two ways to access the AIM Educator’s Guide are:

  1. Preview the complete Educator’s Guide. We recommend you preview the complete guide so you can be aware of how your partner class is preparing for their role as buddies.
  2. Preview the Educator’s Guide in five individual sections (1-5) to view only the sections you need for either Big Buddy or Little Buddy planning.

For a snapshot of the five AIM topics and topic-related program resources, see the AIM Buddy Project Summary Chart. To preview a list of the 20-classroom sessions, see the AIM Buddy Project Summary Chart.

This resource is part of The AIM Buddy Project, an ARTHUR Social, Emotional and Character Development Curriculum.

Five Arthur episodes are: So Funny I Forgot to Laugh, MacFrensky, Buster's Growing Grudge, Spoiled Rotten and Dear Adil.

Interactive features for each session are: So Funny I Forgot to Laugh, Francine's Tough Day, Buster's Growing Grudge, Arthur's Giving and Keeping Game and Dear Adil.