This week is national school counselor week, and ArtSpace is grateful to have two amazing school counselors supporting the social-emotional needs of the students. Ms. Kristin returns for her second year as ArtSpace’s counselor and is working closely with kindergarten – 4th-grade students. This year Ms. Kristin has been joined by Ms. Chelsea who works with 5th-8th-grade students. We were able to add a second counselor with funding provided through a new state grant, the School Mental Health Professionals grant.
Of course, Ms. Kristin and Ms. Chelsea counsel individual students who need emotional support to achieve greater success in their school day and beyond, but their responsibilities do not stop there. The school has several programs that wouldn’t happen without the direction and leadership of the counseling team.
Ms. Chelsea and Ms. Kristin, and visual arts teacher Ms. Jocelyn led the pledge signing this fall for ArtSpace’s No Place for Hate designation by the Anti Defamation League for the third year in a row. Along with middle school language arts teacher Ms. Leila, they serve as faculty advisors, for ArtSpace’s student government. Members of the student council work on service projects each year to support the school as well as the Swannanoa Valley Community. The counseling team helps coordinate other service projects throughout the year beyond the work with student government.
ArtSpace counselors collaborate with other school counselors, community organizations, and charities to support health and wellness initiatives, personal safety, and crisis response efforts. Ms. Chelsea and Ms. Kristin work with various local organizations to distribute food (and gifts during the holidays) to ArtSpace families that may be in need of assistance.
Ms. Kristin has focused some of her energies working with k-4 students teaching lessons on topics such as courage, growth mindset, personal space, conflict resolution, etc. She has also started a social thinking group in collaboration with 1st-grade teacher Ms. M. Ms. Chelsea supports 5th and 6th grade with class meetings, health and wellness activities, and middle school teachers with curriculum for TRIBES. She hosts social lunch groups for middle schoolers, as well as the Rainbow Alliance for 7/8th grade students who identify with or are allies of the LGBT community.
ArtSpace is again so fortunate to have not one but two amazing counselors that support individual students while strengthening the awareness, mindfulness, and kindness of the entire community. To learn more about ArtSpace Counseling programs, as well as access a broad range of community resources, please follow this link to the website created and updated by Ms. Chelsea and Ms. Kristin.