Counselor's Corner

Jennifer Connors, School Counselor for Grades 1 and 3

September 2015

Hello!

Hello! My name is Jennifer Connors and I am thrilled to be part of the A.B Combs Community this year! I will be your child's counselor this school year! I will be working with our amazing full time counselor Mrs. Trueman who will be the counselor for K, 2, 4, and 5th grade. Each month I will send out an online newsletter to keep you updated on our comprehensive counseling program so you can reinforce it at home, if you want...WIN-WIN!


A little bit about myself-I graduated from SUNY Cortland in NY with a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education and was a first and second grade teacher for almost 9 years. While teaching, I realized my true passion was to become a school counselor. In 2014, I received my Master’s Degree in School Counseling from NC State. I am very excited to contribute to a school that incorporates Covey’s Habits, leadership, and character education into every aspect of the day. I will be working part-time with Mrs. Trueman on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and most Fridays. When I am not working with children I enjoy traveling to NY to see family, spending time with friends, and going to the beach.

Classroom Guidance Update

As an important part of our school's comprehensive school counseling program, I will be delivering Classroom Guidance lessons to your children once a month. Your child may come home and share that they had a special friend in their classroom ;) This is a way for me to teach the grade levels I'll be working with and get to know our students better. I love Classroom Guidance! I will teaching lessons on personal/social, career and academic development. I developed a Teacher Needs' Assessment and then teachers get to decide the "Big Rocks" for classroom guidance.


1st grade- I visited each classroom in September to introduce myself and played a game called "What's in the Bag?" to learn what the school counselor does and what she does NOT do. The 1st grade teachers felt that my "Big Rocks" this year will be centered around Character Education/The Habits, Emotion Management, Friendship, Problem Solving, and Tattling vs. Reporting. My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.



3rd grade- I visited each classroom in September to introduce myself and we played Classroom Jeopardy to determine what a school counselor does and what she does NOT do. The 3rd grade teachers felt my "BIG Rocks" this year will be centered around Bully Prevention, Friendship, Problem solving, Character Education/Habits, and Skills for learning (test taking strategies). My monthly lessons will be developed based on these important topics.

September Classroom Guidance Schedule

Sept. 1- Klager & Levinson

Sept. 3- Almond & Hughes

Sept. 10- Landis & Weber

Sept. 15 - Norman & Coleman

Sept. 17- Falkner & Garrison

Sept. 24- Randle & Pleasants

Sept. 29-Christie & Lewis

Leadership Connection

The 7 Habits and Character Traits that will be taught in Classroom Guidance this month:

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Responsibility, Respect, Courage, and Good Judgement

Small Group Counseling

Coming soon...

I'm in the process of forming small groups. Small groups allow children to develop coping skills, a sense of belonging, and to realize that they are not alone in their concerns. Groups that may be offered this year include:


  • Friendship
  • Self Esteem
  • School Success
  • Anger Management
  • Worry-free
  • Attendance


At the start of each school year we will talk with teachers, parents, and students to determine which groups are needed most for the school year. Groups typically run for 4-6 weeks and meet once a week for a 40 minute period. Times for groups are coordinated with classroom teachers to minimize time away from instruction.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Parent Education Night

Does your child come home talking about being "proactive" and "putting first things first"? If you'd like to learn more about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and how your children are using these habits in their daily learning at AB Combs, please join us at the McKimmon Center next Tuesday. If you'd like to know more about the parent academy, please check out this video. We hope to see you there!


Parent Academy

NCSU McKimmon Center

September 22, 2015

6:30-8:00

Lunch Bunch 3rd Grade

What is lunch bunch? Lunch bunch is an amazing time! Students can bring their lunch to the counselor's room to eat and make new friends.

When? Fridays

Where? The counselors room, Room 120

How? Students can write their name on a sign up sheet on the counselor's door--students can sign up once a quarter.

Backpack Buddies Update

Ab Combs loves our community partnership with InterFaith Food Shuttle. We officially have the "backpack buddies" program help families in our school receive food for the weekend. This program is truly amazing--please read the attached brochure about them! The BackPack Buddies Program serves children who are food insecure, meaning they do not have "access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life." (Anderson, 1990). BackPack Buddies targets kids who access free & reduced-price lunches at school. Children are identified as "in need" by school counselors and site coordinators.

With Combs’ help we were able to give 16 Combs children a backpack of food each week last year! We have a couple Combs families that could benefit from this program this school year & we want to help. So we have two options at Combs...

Option #1---FOOD
Option #1 would be to give food that is listed below. We have started our own little mini-backpack buddies program at Combs. We will have a cabinet of canned food that can help children and families in emergency food crisis. Last year with your help, we were able to fill 5 backpacks each week for the entire school year from our own pantry!

We need:

canned vegetables
canned fruit
canned meats or meat stews
packaged noodles
100% juice boxes
boxes shelf stable milk (always need!)
healthy snacks
breakfast items

Option #2---MONEY
Option #2 would be to give $ to Interfaith to help sponsor families. You can sponsor a child for an entire year, a semester, or month. It cost only $350 to support a student for every meal during the weekend for the entire school year! For about $1 a day, a child can have access to nutritious food every weekend for an entire year.
1 Year..........$350
1 Semester....$175
1 Month..........$39
Go to https://secure3.4agoodcause.com/food-shuttle/fundraisers/personal-page.aspx?pid=104
This money will be going directly to sponsor students at A.B. Combs!

Thank you from the bottom of our heart! It's really difficult to hear about a student who is upset about not having enough food at home...I can't even imagine how scary that must feel. We just want to help anyway that we can and know that you will too!