There are many times when I feel so fortunate to live in this country and do the work I do. Today I was reminded of this when I went to a training on services available to individuals in my community that are homeless, don't have medical coverage, haven't been to a dentist or received an eye exam/glasses, and in need of food, clothing, and/or shelter. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty there are 15 million children that live in the US that have family incomes below the federal poverty level. So what do we do to help?!
Parents- Are you experiencing a hardship? Do you need help with providing food, clothing, medical needs, etc. for your school age child(ren)? If so contact your school counselor so they can provide you with community resources that are available to help during this difficult time.
Teachers/Administrators/School Nurses/Faculty- Do you notice a child coming to school wearing the same clothing, tattered clothing, or clothing inappropriate for the weather? Do you notice that some students are hungry, asking for food to go home with, or expressing hunger on Monday's after a weekend out of school? Do you have students that need glasses or dental assistance? Let the school counselor know so they can provide support for the student and their family.
School Counselors- Stay connected with other professionals in the field and resource providers in the community to remain aware of services available to students and their families.
The bottom line.............there are federal programs and resources available to help but the only way to utilize them or ensure students get what they need is through one simple task COMMUNICATION!
So lets work together to ensure that students and families are having their basic needs met. As a school counselor it is my mission to do all I can to ensure that the environmental, medical, and educational needs of all children I work with are provided for and that all children can be kids. Through having basic needs met and not repeatedly having to worry about 'adult problems' students have a better capacity to develop positive social skills and are more 'teachable' in the classroom and in life.