January 2014

CLICK HERE to visit the BLRA School Counseling Webpage

This webpage is a more comprehensive view of the school counseling services being offered at Banning Lewis Ranch Academy. You will also find links to useful mental health resources here and a simple way of contacting the school counselor.

CLICK HERE for the School Counseling 2013 Fall Report

This report is designed to highlight some of the school counseling services provided at Banning Lewis Ranch Academy in the Fall 2013 Semester. This, by no means, is a complete look at the school counselor responsibilities and overall work load.

Community Support Opportunity

About 1 in 3 people experiencing homelessness is under the age of eighteen. One of the items homeless youth request most is a pair of jeans. Teens for Jeans, a collaboration between DoSomething.Org and Aerospotle have teamed up to create a venue in which homeless youth can be provided thier most wanted item. For more information, check out

The REAL Leaders of BLRA are running a campaign to support these homeless youth. From January 21st to February 7th, we are encouraging students to bring in thier gently used jeans to give to Colorado homeless youth.

Random Acts of Kindness Week

Monday, Feb. 10th, 8am to Friday, Feb. 14th, 3:30pm

7094 Cottonwood Tree Drive

Colorado Springs, CO

Random Acts of Kindness Week was started by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. This week perfectly coincides with Valentines Day - where we hope that in addition to spreading love, we spread kindness too. The week is dedicated to going above and beyond of doing kind things for others. We encourage students to take part in this momentum as kindness is a valuable skill to learn and impacts not just individuals but creates a better school environment too.

For more information:

The Power of Empathy

RSA Shorts - The Power of Empathy
Empathy is a core skill for what psychologists call “pro-social” behavior – the actions that are involved in building close relationships, maintaining friendships, and developing strong communities. It appears to be the central reality necessary for developing a conscience, as well.

  • Help your kids put words to their emotions. Feelings are complex bio-chemical realities that take place in our whole bodies, but not necessarily involving our logical brain! Naming them can be trickier than we sometimes realize. We have a great many words in our language to try to express the various shadings of sadness, anger or fear. Helping our kids find the right words that express what they’re feeling is a great way for them to come to understand the feelings of others.
  • Feel out loud. Modeling the behavior you want your kids to emulate is one of the best parenting strategies around. Kids are watching us all the time and what we do influences them as much or more than what we say. Share your thoughts and feelings about situations in the family, what friends are going through, what that kid at school your son is complaining about might be feeling, what you see on TV. No need to be heavy-handed or lecture about it. Simply share what the other person may be feeling or going through and how that affects you, makes you consider how to help.
  • Include empathy as part of discipline. Make sure you include conversation about how people are affected by a problem in the creation of the solution. Get kids to consider how their aggrieved sibling might have felt when they got hurt or when someone took their favorite pair of jeans without asking. Show empathy to the perpetrator, too, so they see how this empathy can guide consequences, as well.
  • Reward empathy. When we notice our kids doing the right thing, a reward “out of the blue” can be a powerful way to influence their behavior in the future. Pay attention to when your kids are responding out of empathy, reaching out to help, changing their behavior out of concern for another, and let them know you value and support what they’re doing. Recognition and affirmation are often reward enough, but an occasional ice cream cone won’t hurt!
  • Be patient. None of us is perfectly empathetic all the time, even as adults. To ask kids to put others first or even to be able to have the emotional energy to notice what someone else is feeling when they are upset is asking a lot. As with all things human, progress is slow and accumulates over time as skills (and brains!) develop. Just keep pointing these moments out and modeling the skills the best you can. Our kids will get there. After all, we did, right?

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