JTMS Counseling Newsletter

December 7, 2020

Big picture


Each year in the United States, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day honors all those who lost their lives when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. More than 3,500 Americans lost their lives or were wounded on that solemn day.

The day marked a turn in the United States’ position regarding involvement in World War II. The Japanese attack damaged several battleships, permanently sinking both the USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma. Still, others capsized, taking crew members with them. One noted ship was the USS Utah. Along with naval vessels, the attack destroyed aircraft, too. As a result, the attack forced the U.S. into a war that had been raging for two years.


Big picture

Vaping and COVID-19…Significant Risks

Now May Be the Time to Quit……or to Help Your Child Quit!

It seems that many young people are now vaping because it helps them to deal with the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is probably true. In the Spring of 2020 there were no studies proving a direct link between vaping and COVID-19, but preliminary evidence suggested that those who do vape (or smoke) have an increased risk for developing more serious symptoms if they do contract COVID-19. This is due to the fact that vaping harms our respiratory system, impacting our lungs’ ability to fight off infection. Now, over 6 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are learning more about the relationship between vaping and COVID-19.

In October 2020, the Journal of Adolescent Health reported that a May 2020 national survey of 4,000+ adolescents and young adults (ages 13-24) showed that those who vaped were 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19. (That number was even higher for those who both vaped and smoked.) We know that exposure to nicotine and other chemicals found in vaping products and cigarettes causes lung damage. This seems to increase the ability of the COVID-19 virus to enter the lungs, thus leading to some of the most serious of the virus’ symptoms. Other reasons are simply related to the fact of how vapes and cigarettes are used – no masks, hands touching face and mouth – which is a major way the virus spreads.

So, if you vape, or your child vapes, now is the perfect opportunity to make a change. In this

time of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s goal is to stay healthy and not do anything that

may jeopardize their health. If you vape/your child vapes as a way to relieve stress, know that

there are many ways to de-stress without vaping. Take a look at our school district website for resources that can help. (Under District Offices, click on Guidance and Counseling and scroll to bottom of page for Mindfulness and Wellness Apps and Tips for Handling Stress of COVID-19.) In addition, there are many online resources to help quit vaping/smoking, for example This is Quitting (aimed at young people, ages 13-24) and Quit Vaping.

Good luck! Be – and stay – healthy!

- Ms. Joanne Martino, Student Assistance Counselor

Jefferson Township Resource Directory

We know that this year has been a difficult one for so many reasons. Below is a link to a comprehensive list of resources for mental health, physical health, crisis support, grief/loss, Covid-19 support, and much more. Please feel free to utilize this resource for yourself or pass it along if you know someone in need of support!

Mindful Walkabout- Grade 6

As mentioned last week, the 6th graders were learning about mindfulness during their Enrichment classes over the past few weeks, including a technique for gaining mindfulness called the Mindful Walkabout. They had the option of going on a slow and mindful walk in their neighborhoods in nature, or even just in their yard to observe the simple, everyday things that they could notice. Some students chose to participate, and then wrote a short, two-line poem, or a couplet, about what they observed, with a picture, if they so chose. Below is another one of their mindful observations.
Big picture

Essentials with Miss Ellingsen

20 Things We Should Say More Often

We can all get lost in the repetition of our day-to-day lives (especially now), seeing the same people, doing the same things, etc. The simple act of saying something kind, different, inspiring, or empathetic has the power to change your day and the day of the people in your life. “Life is tough but so are you. Sometimes we all need to be reminded to keep going.” - Kid President
Kid President's 20 Things We Should Say More Often

JTMS Counseling Department

Your counselors are here for you! Parents, students, teachers: please get in touch with us any time you have a question or concern. We care about you!

Miss Ellingsen, Mrs. LaCatena, and Ms. Martino