Newsletter – May 2020

May 2020 School Counselor Newsletter

Dear St. John Families,

We’re in that final push of the year, but I know it still feels far off and there is much to do and plenty of unknowns in the meantime. As we continue with distance learning for the remainder of the school year, I will continue to offer at-home resources to support your children’s mental health and well-being.

With that in mind, May is Mental Health Awareness Month! It is more important than ever to prioritize and take care of your own mental health as well as your children’s. I continue to update my website with tools and resources to do so. Click here to view. Additionally, I have created a new page entirely dedicated to specific COVID-19 Resources. On this page, you will find resources for helping children understand COVID-19, how to answer their questions, how to address their anxious, sad, angry feelings, and ideas for how to foster family connection and harmony during this stressful time.  

In addition to these resources, I continue to facilitate the following weekly activities for students:

  • Primary – I am recording read alouds with mini-counseling lessons that help students process their feelings. Videos are 15 minutes or less and include simple art projects, puppets, mindful moments, and breathing techniques
  • Intermediate – I am using a program called “Stempathy,” which combines STEM and empathy. Stempathy requires the innovator to first listen and emphasize with a person’s problem, then build a solution for them. This is a fun activity to do with whatever materials you have at home. Learn more here. Note the page is password protected (to enter, type “bekind”)
  • Middle School – Along with Ms. Tsagalakis, our PE teacher, we are hosting a weekly “Middle School Virtual Recess”. Students play games, chat, and catch up with one another. It’s a fun and informal way to connect with friends! RSVP here: 6th grade7th grade8th grade

If I can do anything at all to support you during this time, don’t hesitate to contact me via email at cshaw@st-johnschool.org. I work with parents and students throughout the week and would be happy to do anything I can to help you.

With a heart full of love,

Ms. Shaw

Resources I’m Highlighting this Month

  • A read aloud (read by me!) called, “Coronavirus: A Book for Children”. The book uses simple language and provides key information that answers children’s most common questions
  • With many important events and rites of passage having to be canceled, this article offers some useful tips for supporting children who are dealing with feelings of loss about important events
  • ParentMap is hosting two free(!) upcoming webinars and Q&As, one on May 6th and another on May 12th. The webinars are all about parenting during this crisis and supporting your child and family
  • In the spirit of having a little fun, I created a Social Emotional Learning Scavenger Hunt for students! There are 8 tasks that are both silly and fun, but also nurture mental health and well-being