Gateway School Counseling

June/July 2022 Family Newsletter


Hello from your Gateway School Counselors, Kelsey Buglewicz-Miller and Alison McGovern! We are so excited that you are checking out our monthly newsletter. This is a space for us to share fun activities for you to do with your family, updates to our program, resources you may be interested in, and other information related to school counseling. If you have any questions about the items posted, please feel free to reach out to a Gateway School Counselor via email.

Having a Successful Summer

Continuing to Learn at Home

Summer is a wonderful time for students to get a break from the classroom and enjoy some time with family and friends. Unfortunately, this time away from school can lead to something called the "summer slide" or learning loss. Here are some helpful tips to keep your elementary school student sharp and ready for August!

1. Read everyday!

Reading is a key skill to keep practicing throughout the summer months. You can motivate your student to read every day by giving them short term goals to reach like "finish 10 pages today" or "read a story out loud". If they complete the task, they can earn small prizes like 10 extra minutes on their video game or a small treat!

2. Play family board games!

Board games are a great opportunity to continue summer learning with your student(s). Some games challenge students to use math and reading skills or move their bodies and even draw! Playing games as a family also helps build positive relationships within the family unit and create fun memories to last a lifetime. Here are some games that you can play with your students this summer: Headbandz, Monopoly, Connect 4, Guess Who, and Bananagrams.

3. Get kids involved in shopping!

Grocery shopping is a task that every family has to complete throughout the month. Having your student assist with meal planning, budgeting, and the shopping itself can be increibly helpful for their learning. Some skills that students can practice are writing (writing the list or budget), drawing (drawing the groceries or meals), reading (reading the list or prices), math (budgeting, adding item prices), and many more!

4. Go outside and play!

The possibilities are endless with playing outdoors. Summer is the perfect time to get outside and away from screens with the whole family! Students can practice social skills, healthy living, and even academic skills while playing outside. Some ideas for fun activities with hidden learning include: hopscotch, capture the flag, scavenger hunts, nature walks, and science experiments!

5. Combine movies with writing!

Movies are a great way to spend rainy days in the summer. Students and families can enjoy some time alone or together on the couch. Movies can also spark learning for our students. Some ideas for how to pair learning with movies are: having your learner write a summary of the movie, have your student list the feelings that the characters had throughout the movie, have your student count or add different symbols in the movie, etc.

Local Summer Programs for Your Student(s)


DoSpace offers FREE classes for people of all ages! You can find their calendar here and here

The Kroc Center:

The Kroc Center offers summer camps! You can register here:

They also offer scholarships to families who need some budget assistance, but want to help their child participate in a camp this summer.

The Rose Theater:

The Rose has activities year round, but this particular program is designed for children ages 5-13 with family members who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. they have pushed back the start date until Tuesday, June 14 and will run for 8 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6-8 pm at the Rose Theater. There is no cost for the program and transportation is available. The workshop focuses on Expressive arts including song, dance, theater, poetry, and art. To register contact Alana Alexander, Director of RISE Youth & Family Program at (402)619-7680.

Middle School!

Transitioning to Middle School - Tips for You and Your Student(s)

Transitioning to middle school can bring on a lot of stress for students and their families. With change comes some unknowns. These next few tips can help the tranisition to middle school a little smoother!

1. Practice your morning routine the last week of summer break!

Have your student(s) wake up at the time they will need to wake up for school. Middle school starts earlier than elementary (7:40am instead of 8:50am), which can be a rude awakening for some students and families. Have your students get their backpacks, lunches, and clothes ready and walk to the bus stop, walk to school, or hop in the car to see if they can make it on time!

2. Connect with your counselors.

Find out who your students' school counselors will be at their new school. These people can be very helpful in connecting you with resources throughout the school year! They can also support your student if they have high anxiety or worry about their first few weeks in the new school.

3. Practice planning!

Get excited by gathering your school supplies. Using a planner can be a new, but important skill for incoming middle schoolers. Practice filling out a week or day of a student planner so that your student(s) can be prepared, organized, and successful!

4. Ask a vetran!

Find a student or family who has attended or is attending the middle school that your student(s) are attending. Ask them for advice, tips, and tricks for having the best experience during their 7th grade year.

5. Get involved!

Look into what clubs, sports, and other activities are available at your students' middle school. This can help get students excited to start at their new building and help them feel like they will already have a group of friends to hang out with!

6. Plan for crisis & practice coping skills!

Make a safety plan with your student so that they know what to do if they are having a hard time or day. Review the importance of body safety, saying no to peer pressure, and regulating their emotions.

This Month at Gateway

Next Level Learning

Ali McGovern and Heather Rowland will be the school counselors at Gateway for June NLL! You already know Ali, but here is a bit about Heather:


My name is Heather Rowland and I am the Counselor at Crestridge during the regular school year. I grew up in Omaha and I attended Millard South for high school. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University), and earned my Master’s Degree in Elementary School Counseling from Creighton University. I enjoy many things but the one thing I love the most is spending time with my family, friends, and dog, Tulip. I just completed my 23rd year as an educator (all in OPS) and my 20th year as the counselor at Crestridge. What a lucky gal I am to have been in OPS for so long working with the amazing students, families and staff members I am looking forward to seeing Crestridge students and meeting new students this summer!

Ali and Heather will be functioning as school counselors in the same way that Kelsey and Ali do throughout the school year. However, they will not be teaching classroom lessons. If you would like to refer your student to Ali or Heather, please send either of them an email or call their offices.



Help at Home

Celebrate & Educate During LGBTQ Pride Month

"Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans. In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBT Americans were commonly subjected. This uprising marks the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBT Americans." -

This holiday is celebrated by parades, parties, concerts, and other events. "Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally." -

How to get involved:

- Attend local events (Heartland Pride Parade at the Old Market July 16th) (Heartland Pride Festival at Baxter arena and CHI Arena on July 16th)

- Get educated (check out the Trevor Project, GLSEN, Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, PFlag, and many more sites to learn more about this community)

- Donate (look into the organizations listed above and help fund their missions)

Juneteenth: What You Should Know

What is Junteenth?

"On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”" - New York Times

How is it celebrated?

There are many ways to celebrate this commemorative holiday. Some families who are descendants of slaves travel back to Galveston to reflect on the historic day. Other families have meals together in backyards while some cities host large festivals or parades. Research what local events are happening near you this Juneteenth to celebrate a new holiday with your family! You can also use this day to learn with your students about the untold history of our country and maybe start some new traditions of your own!

A New National Holiday

"On June 17, 2021, it became the 11th holiday recognized by the federal government. The Senate on June 15 passed a bill to recognize the day, and the House approved the measure the next day. President Biden signed the bill into law the day after that, immediately giving federal employees the day off this year." - New York Times

Social Wellness Month

Social Wellness Month highlights the importance of nurturing your social relationships. Having high social wellness can be a buffer to traumatic life events by supporting your emotional wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and mental wellbeing.

Did you know that the health risks from being alone or isolated in one's life are comparable to the risks associated with cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity.

Research shows that:

  • People who have a strong social network tend to live longer.
  • The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress.
  • Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning.
  • Healthy social networks enhance the immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases.

Social Wellness Month is a time to connect deeper or reconnect with the important people in your life. Host a game night, go to a sporting event, sign up for a new activity, join social media groups, or come up with your own ideas! This July, take the time to nurture your social relationships and in turn, take care of yourself.

Summer Support

How to get help over the summer?

If you or your students need additional support over the summer with resources like mental health support, food, transportation, housing, or clothing, check out the following resources below.

*Always note, in an emergency please call 911.

*To report child abuse or neglect, please call the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1 (800) 652-1999

Panera Bread Program Update

This year, Gateway Elementary is participating in the Panera Bread Day-End Dough Bread program. Through this program, Panera, LLC is proud to share their unsold bread and bakery products with 501 (c) (3) non-profit organizations in addressing the need for food distribution in efforts to help fight food insecurity in communities.

This opportunity is made possible by the Midtown Neighborhood Alliance. Midtown Neighborhood Alliance, a nonprofit organization of 17 neighborhoods in Midtown Omaha has partnered with Panera, LLC for over 15 years. The partnership has allowed for various organizations and schools to receive Panera food for families. Gateway is one of the participating schools. We are grateful for this program.

During the summer, these donations will be delivered to another local organization. The program will resume at Gateway in August!

If you need additional food support, please contact the Gateway school counseling offices.

General Resources

Contact Us

Ms. Ali McGovern

If you have a question about a resource, please feel free to reach out via email or by calling our offices. If you would like to refer your student for a meeting, please utilize our QR code!

Mrs. Kelsey Buglewicz-Miller

If you have a question about a resource, please feel free to reach out via email or by calling our offices. If you would like to refer your student for a meeting, please utilize our QR code!

Student Referral Form

Please utilize this QR code or the link attached if you would like your student to meet with a School Counselor!