Counselor's Corner

December 2015

What is Happening in the World of Counseling This Month?

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Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)

As a portion of a grant I received in May 2015 from The Humble ISD Education Foundation, our school has the opportunity to have this incredible program! WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is a one-of-a-kind, school-based father involvement program that works to support education and safety.

Who are Watch D.O.G.S.? Fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, uncles, and other father figures who volunteer to serve at least one day a year in a variety of school activities as assigned by the school counselor and parent involvement coordinator.

Thank you to two special people for helping with this year's Watch D.O.G.S. Program:

  • Nicole Lino - helping to coordinate this special program with me
  • Cory McDonald - volunteering to be our "Top Dog" with the program
Watch D.O.G. Sign-Up Schedule

Please note, if you did not attend the Watch D.O.G.S. Launch Event and orientation in the fall, you will receive a short orientation with Ms. Vandenbrook prior to initiating your Watch D.O.G. schedule for the day.

Watch D.O.G.S. on the NBC Today Show

Guidance Lessons

All of the guidance lessons are aligned with the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) guidelines for school counselors. Many of the lessons are based on the metaphors within the WhyTry Curriculum.

During this second nine weeks all classes will be learning about Self-Management.

Fun Activities with the Counselor!

Rice University!

Our fifth grade students and teachers had the opportunity to take a guided campus tour of Rice University thanks to very generous funds from a grant awarded to our counseling program from The Humble ISD Education Foundation! The students were placed into three groups (only 40 students allowed per university guidelines). We traveled by Humble ISD school buses to Rice University on October 7th, 16th, and 23rd! FABULOUS!

Panther P.A.L.s!

This special program, "Panther P.A.L.s" (Peers as Leaders) is for fourth graders as an opportunity to show leadership by volunteering their time in various areas on our campus.

There are three committees within the entire group of "Panther P.A.L.s":

  • Craft Team
  • Drama Team
  • No Place for Hate Crew

In October the students created a video to emphasize our cafeteria expectations for all students using our school guidelines for student behavior through the P.B.I.S. (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) plan.

Super Hero Panther P.A.L. Video (Click this link to be redirected to the Panther P.A.L. page on my website. The link is listed towards the top of the page!)

December and January the students will be working diligently to plan for January's "Great Kindness Challenge"!

For information on the 2015 - 2016 PFE Panther P.A.L.s (students, schedule, etc...)

Comfort Dog

Introducing Comfort Dog Lila Belle!

In May 2015 I was awarded a grant from The Humble ISD Education Foundation called "PAWS-ITIVELY POWERFUL COUNSELING". This dynamic, multi-faceted innovative grant proposal tackles key affective and academic needs on our campus. One facet of this proposal details the incredible addition of male volunteers through the “Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)” program. The second tier of this grant proposal includes the addition of a four-legged counselor/comfort dog. This entire project will be instrumental in encouraging the emotional well-being of at-risk students, increase students’ confidence in reading, decrease stress, eliminate test anxiety, promote social interaction and create positive connections with peers and adults.

Lila Belle has been in a very comprehensive training the entire fall semester to become an AKC Certified Comfort Dog through the amazing Let's Go! Positive Reinforcement Dog Training, LLC. She will complete her training by the end of January. Lila is the second Sheltie I have rescued through the fabulous Houston Sheltie Sanctuary!

While she is on campus, Lila Belle will have a specific role to play. She will always be under the care of her handler, me, the counselor! Lila is an extremely sweet dog who shows zero aggression towards others. The students will have special opportunities to read to her and other positive interactions as supervised by the counselor.

Pine Forest Elementary is one of six schools in the Humble ISD school district who have the incredible opportunity for comfort dogs through grants funded by The Humble ISD Education Foundation.

All students will learn the following about safety with animals:

5 Things to know about me (and all pets):

1. Be gentle and calm.
Please don't make sudden moves and startle me. Please don't pet me too hard or pull on my ears or tail.

2. Understand that I am not a toy.
I'm always happy to see you, but sometimes I don't want to play.

3. There must always be an adult present when children play with me.
I feel safer for both you and I when there's an adult nearby. Don't you?

4. Help take care of my basic needs and respect my moods.
I need my owner to feed me, give me fresh water every day, give me a safe place to sleep and play, and help keep me clean.

5. Treat me with kindness and make me feel safe.
Please don't pinch me or pull on my tail or ears. Please don't do anything I wouldn't expect.

No Place for Hate® Crew!

No Place for Hate® helps to create and sustain inclusive school environments where all students feel valued and have the opportunity to succeed by promoting respect for individual differences.

PFE has been named a No Place for Hate® school for three years in a row! (May 2013, May 2014 and May 2015). In order to once again have this honor, a special group of students (from the Panther P.A.L.s) will meet with me throughout the year to design and implement specific activities for the entire school that support the No Place for Hate® message!

No Place for Hate® link on Ms. Vandenbrook's Website!

Parenting Corner

Talking with Older Students about Cyber Safety

Looking for a powerful way to talk with your child about online safety? Take some time to watch this video with your child(ren) and have a candid discussion on being safe online.

Cyber Safety for Older Students

My Website for Cyber Safety

Feeling Puzzled? Looking for ideas to help you at home?

Check out the

Counselor's Lending Library:

Parenting Resources

Referrals to See the Counselor

Would you like to request for your child to visit with Ms. Vandenbrook for some counseling?

All students have access to the counselor through whole group guidance. In addition to guidance lessons, some students visit with the counselor in small group counseling sessions. Individual students may self-refer to the counselor using individual counselor passes. Teachers and staff may also refer individual students to the counselor.

Referrals to the Counselor

Click this button to complete a confidential request for counseling.