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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 47

Counseling: A School Improvement Tool


The role of counselors in schools is expanding from just attending to individual students to leading discussions and activities for groups of students that can help improve school performance and behavior.

School counselors traditionally have concentrated on specific issues or students, helped prepare student schedules, and talked with parents, often operating outside of the classroom environment.

Studies are showing, though, that comprehensive, integrated counseling programs for all students can improve student achievement and behavior.

"School counseling programs now are data-driven, which has been one of the biggest adjustments," said Jill Cook, director of programs for the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). "We are being called upon and recognized as key players in school climate; counselors are looking more at outcomes."

Most states now include a comprehensive school counseling component as part of the training for school counselors, according to Dr. Greg Brigman, also a professor in the counselor education department at Florida Atlantic University, and coordinator of the school counseling program.

"Schools are converting slowly from the traditional crisis-intervention, individual focus model of school counseling to one that has more of a prevention and early intervention focus, reaches more students, and enhances academic success," Dr. Brigman told Education World.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
School Soda Bans Have Small ImpactBanning soda in elementary schools may not make a huge difference in kids' overall consumption of the beverages, a study suggests.

Fla, Md Schools Have Top Lunches For the second year in a row, Pinellas County (Florida) elementary school lunch programs have scored the highest marks in the nation for nutrition. Pinellas County tied with a school district in Maryland.

Teaching Kids Healthful Eating Basics

Kids Up Front is designed to teach at-risk children ages 8-12 the basics of nutrition, cooking, and healthful eating. The curriculum consists of six lesson plans presented in two-hour sessions that meet once a week for six weeks. The lessons promote a nutrition philosophy of moderation, variety and balance, with the Food Guide Pyramid as a focal point.

Classes are taught by volunteer chefs and nutritionists working in teams of two. Children receive hands-on nutrition education by preparing simple, healthful recipes they can share with their families and participating in educational activities such as Food Pyramid Bingo and Vegetable Family Feud. Each class meeting focuses on a different food group or nutritional theme such as the importance of eating breakfast or eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Children receive a folder with Operation Frontline recipes and nutritional handouts to use and share with their families at home.

Since its inception, Kids Up Front has taught more than 350 six-week class series in 14 major cities throughout the United States and served more than 4,400 participants with a graduation rate of 90 percent.

In addition to the six-week class series, Kids Up Front has served more than 30,000 kids through health fairs, one-time workshops, and community garden programs.

Kids Up Front is evaluated through letters from kids. Most kids write to Operation Frontline to explain what they learned in the Kids Up Front program. Others write their teachers to ask when they can take the class series again.

Read more about this program at: Kids Up Front.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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