YCMS Counseling through Connections

February Newsletter - 2018

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Citizenship: What a Wonderful World

This month we recognize our good fortune to be citizens of the United States and the resulting responsibilities that flow from that privilege. What is citizenship? Citizenship is a call to commit to changing the world around you for the better; to participate in the process of government, and to do your share to help your community improve.

I have always felt inspired whenever I hear Louis Armstrong sing his classic, “What a Wonderful World.” As Mr. Armstrong eloquently puts it:

I see trees of green, red roses too.

I see them bloom for me and you.

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white.

The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

I have been hearing these beautiful words for years, but it was not until recently that I actually reflected on them. The lyrics emphasize a first-person narrative with the repetitive lyric, “I see.” Like Mr. Armstrong, I have found that we can create our own wonderful world, and it’s incredibly simple. One only needs to expand your perspective in the way we see our life and the events that surround us. While the world around us will continue to change and evolve there are truths that will remain constant. Among these include the need for love, service, compassion and that most uniquely American one - the pursuit of happiness.

Good citizenship is more than just patriotism. You live in the greatest country in the world but that means little if you don’t appreciate what makes it so. Cooperation with others, obeying laws, being a good neighbor, respecting authority, getting involved and doing your part to make your community better gives you a perspective on what citizenship requires. Whether it’s in your home, for your country or for our planet, every one of us is put in this world to contribute and make a difference to the world in our own unique way. It need not be anything out of this world. It just needs to be something you do with the intention of “doing good."

At the core, something is "good" if it leads to more happiness, and something is "bad" if it leads to more suffering. This may seem simplistic at first, but it really does allow us to cut through confusion, providing a straightforward measure by which to judge the consequences of our actions and evaluate our efforts to make the world a better place.

“Looking out for number one” may seem practical, however, if all you’re ever concerned with is “what’s in it for me,” there will never be very much in it for you. Yet when you expand your focus and give the best you have in return you’ll experience the best there is. It’s important to balance giving with receiving. Take a look. Are you asking for too much and not giving enough?

If we want to see a wonderful world around us, we have to make it a wonderful world.

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February Students of the Month

The following students were chosen by their teachers for exemplifying citizenship. Congratulations to Sacari Forney and Juan Ramirez Medina, 6th grade; Justin Ugarte-Perez and Coby Crocker, 7th grade; Ke'naire Archie and Kabria Ross, 8th grade.
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Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

What if performing a small act of kindness or compassion could make us feel happy?

What if that kindness made someone else happy too?

And what if that happiness was contagious – so that one small act of kindness could spread happiness not just to two people, but to the friends of friends of both those people? How cool would that be?!

So how does happiness spread? Like a virus, or like fairy dust? I propose that happiness spreads because when we are with happy people who make us feel good, we let go of our habits of unhappiness and our negative beliefs.

We all want to be “happy,” but what does that mean to you? Happiness is so important that even in our Declaration of Independence we are guaranteed “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

At any rate, there is no doubt that the happier we are, the better the influence we have on the world around us.

What a Wonderful World | Playing For Change

Do Not Undervalue Your Ability to Do Good in the World

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We each have power, power to change our own heart and influence others. And it happens in some of the most unexpected ways.

A good citizen is someone who... York Chester Middle School students share qualities they believe make great citizens in video

A good citizen is someone who...


February 5 - 9

York Chester Student Ambassadors will be selling "Valentine Carnation & Crush Grams" throughout the week during lunch periods for $1. Let someone you care about know how much you appreciate them by spreading a little love this Valentine's Day!!! This could be a special friend, teacher, coach or someone else special. Proceeds will be used for postage for Treat Our Troop Care Packages.

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Random Acts of Kindness Week... Treat Our Troops with Care Packages of Love

February 20th - 28th

Let’s talk about LOVE…

Not the cupid’s arrow, Hallmark Greeting Card, mushy stuff. Love for your community, your neighbors, and the people who serve this great country of ours.

Random Acts of Kindness week is February 11th-17th and Random Acts of Kindness Day is on the 17th. Why not take this opportunity to show love and appreciation for our service men and women by sending care packages to our troops.

During Random Acts of Kindness Week each advisory class will be writing special notes of thanks, decorating and collecting items for their care package boxes.

What items can I collect to make our care packages extra special?

  • Potato chips (Pringles ships best)

  • Beef jerky

  • Cookies(Girl Scout!!, Oreo, Famous Amos)

  • Crackers, Rice Krispie treats, pretzels, Pop-Tarts, nuts and other related individual snack foods

  • Hard candy (Jolly Ranchers, Jelly Beans and the like)

  • Powdered beverages like Gatorade, instant coffee, and so forth

  • Toothbrushes

  • Mouthwash

  • Baby wipes are the king of combat supplies. Baby wipes (also called wet wipes)

  • Febreeze

  • Boot socks

Everyone loves to get a reminder on Valentine’s Day that they are loved, let’s take the time to give some of that love to our troops!

I Love Being a School Counselor Because…

In honor of National School Counseling Week, We have accepted the challenge to list the reasons why we love being a school counselor at York Chester Middle School.
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Here’s just a short list of the benefits that come to mind –

  • I get to work with the best students in the world.
  • I get to work with so many great professionals who care about students.
  • I get to be involved in a lively community.
  • I get to be involved in planning and improving the school experience for all.
  • everyday is an exciting adventure.

Upcoming Events

YCMS Scholastic Book Fair

February 5 - 9

7th Grade Butterfly Project Field Trip to the Levine Jewish Community Center

February 6 and 8

8th Grade Gaston Early College Presentation at YC

February 6 at 8:30am

Highland School of Technology Presentation at YC

February 7 at 8:30am

Movie Night at York Chester

February 9 at 3:30pm

Honor Roll Celebration

February 12 at 8:00am in the School Auditorium

Gaston Early College Open House

February 12 or 26 from 6 - 8pm at Lena Sue Beam Building on Gaston College Campus

York Chester Middle Spelling Bee

February 16

Highland School of Technology Lottery Open House

February 20 from 5:30 - 7pm at Highland School of Technology

Gaston Early College Applications Due

February 28

Highland School of Technology Applications Due

February 28

Applications go live online January 26

Battle of the Books Competition

March 2 at Gaston College

Highland School of Technology Lottery

March 15 at 4pm
Let me know what you think!

I would appreciate your feedback. Tell me what you think about the counseling program and how it can improve by completing the Stakeholder Needs Assessment.