Counselor Corner

Ms. Leven's monthly newsletter

April 2016


Our Carroll character focus for the month of April is Grit! Grit is defined as perseverance and passion for long term goals. At Carroll, we want our students to demonstrate grit by finishing things that they begin, staying committed to our goals, and working hard - even if we feel like quitting or giving up! Research suggests that "Grit can be predictive of achievement, especially in challenging contexts in which stamina is key. For instance, gritty cadets are more likely to persist at West Point Military Academy, gritty students in the Chicago Public Schools are more likely to graduate, and gritty competitors are more likely to advance to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Researchers are still studying how to best develop grit in students over time."

What Does Character Lab Say About Zest?

Studies show that kids who demonstrate grit persist at hard tasks and outperform their competitors. Grit is a critical strength of most people who are successful. It is especially complex because it is related to other skills and mindsets such as optimism, purpose, growth mindset, bravery, and even self-control.

There are a lot of misconceptions about grit. Grit is much more than just encouraging kids to “try harder” or not give up—it’s also about helping kids find their passion. Having grit does not mean never quitting—it means quitting responsibly (and not just because times get tough) and sticking to the things to which you are truly dedicated.


Books to Read

Still want more? Here are some children's books that focus on grit.

  • Flight School, by Lita Judge
  • The Most Magnificent Thing, By Ashley Spires
  • Wilma Unlimited, by Kathleen Krull
  • Sally Jean, the Bicyle Queen, by Carl Best
  • Stuck, by Oliver Jefferies
  • Little One Step, by Simon James
  • Thank You Mr. Falker, by Patricia Polacco

Conversation Starters

Struggling with how to talk to your child about GRIT? Use these topics below to start a conversation!

  • Reflect with your child on his/her past achievements. Were they easy? Did they take hard work? what did you do when you got 'stuck'?
  • Highlight those who show grit! Point out famous role models who stuck with their trade and showed grit even when things got tough.
  • Encourage deliberate practice. If your child has committed to an activity, help them establish a routine to ensure they are practicing diligently. This applies to school work too!
  • Model grit by thinking out loud. If you are helping them on homework and you get confused, think out loud and them them see how you work through the challenge!
  • Help students quit responsibly. If your child does feel the need to quit an activity, work them to determine the responsible time to quit - after they have reflected on the decision.

Kids Count Players (Kinder, First, and Second)

Wednesday, April 20th, 8:30am

4380 Throne Hall Drive

Frisco, TX

The Kids Count Players are a volunteer project of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County. Created for children and dedicated to keeping them safe, these dynamic volunteers perform for kindergarten through second grade students, educating them about personal safety and boundaries, private touches and the difference between surprises and secrets. The program provides children with critical information to help them stay safe from abuse.