My students need recycling bags and gloves for our recycling program; paints, paint brushes, and paint pens for my Social-Emotional MakerSpace; and kazoos, bouncy balls, and other items to fill goodie bags for their study buddies.
I am a school counselor at a PreK-5 school in Tennessee. The students at my school are a diverse group culturally, ethnically, and economically. I work primarily with students in grades 3 through 5, providing whole-class lessons for all of my students, as well as individual and small-group counseling sessions for my at-risk students. My interventions are wide-ranging, addressing students' academic, social/personal, and career development needs.
Much of my work involves teaching students life skills and encouraging character development.
Helping others, demonstrating personal responsibility, and teamwork are just a few of the character traits and meta-skills that I highlight in my school counseling program. In addition to the instruction provided in whole-class lessons and small-group counseling, I further promote these traits and skills is by offering a variety of leadership opportunities for my older students. Among the many leadership opportunities offered are "The Green Team," composed of students who head up our school's recycling program; and my peer tutors, who are each matched with a younger student who is struggling academically, and who provide tutoring on a weekly basis.
The requested items will fill a variety of needs in my school counseling program, allowing for a strong finish to the year. My "Green Team" will use the recycling bags and gloves as they collect recyclables from locations throughout the school. This program's benefits have already been significant: Green Team members are practicing leadership and responsibility, and all students have benefited by learning more about recycling and seeing how easily it can be accomplished.
My peer tutors will use the kazoos, bouncy balls, emoji stickers and stamps, and toy paratroopers to fill goodie bags for their study buddies.
The at-risk students served by the peer tutors do better because they are befriended by someone who cares about them. These fun goodie bags send this message of caring. When paired with the peer tutors' words of encouragement and time spent with their buddies practicing math facts, reading, or other skills, study buddies make important academic progress!
Last, the paints, paint brushes, paint pens, and "pizza savers" will be used to replenish supplies in my Social-Emotional Makerspace. This space has a variety of hands-on activities that give students who need it time to calm down so they can then more fully engage in solution-focused counseling approaches with me. Through this process we are able to address the social-emotional concerns that might otherwise derail students' academic success, and my students are able to return to class with renewed motivation and a sense of self-efficacy, ready to persist in pursuing their academic goals.
These divergent odds and ends represent different aspects of my school counseling program, but there is a common theme: All of these items will be used to promote students' academic, social/personal, and/or emotional growth and will let us finish out the year in a strong fashion.
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