School Psychology Awareness Week 2016 Highlights

Thank you to all the incredible NASP members who were able to take part in such a great advocacy activity on behalf of the profession. Below are a few highlights from this year’s celebration. Keep in mind that these creative ideas can be effective any time of the year. If you did not have a chance to participate in SPAW this year, consider doing an activity this spring, perhaps during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Also, don’t forget about the Student POWER Award, Possibilities In Action Partner Award, and Gratitude Works programs that offer effective, easy ways to highlight the positive connections students and staff are making in your schools.

Share with us your SPAW activities by completing the 2016 SPAW Activity Feedback Form!

Sharing Experiences and Reflections

Deeds"I sent parents a letter explaining the activities we would be doing, including some small-step strategies they could use at home with their children. I also sent a letter to each teacher introducing myself, explaining how I can help them, and provided suggestions for small-step classroom strategies. Finally, I did a social-emotional gratitude lesson with each class at both of my schools. We read a book together ("The Thankful Book" for K-2; "The Giving Tree" for 3-5) and discussed the meaning of thankfulness/gratitude and, for older students, how they are giving in their lives. At the end of the lesson each student wrote down what they are most grateful for in their life, and we made a school gratitude tree for the main hallway."
- Leigh Hileman-Steele, Rocky Mount, NC
Brittany"I created a 30 minute "stations" activity for students. I created 3 different web pages that described 3 different aspects of what a school psychologist does and created an activity for students to complete at each station. My webpages were linked to a QR code and students used iPads to scan the QR codes, view the webpages, and complete the activities. Students were so engaged!"
- Danielle Romano, Woodridge, IL
Ina"Thanks to NASP, Tulane University hosted a screening of the film Resilience. The audience included undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and practicing teachers and social workers. Prior to the film, a school psychology grad student spoke about school psychology and her experiences in graduate school. We also passed around baby booties to represent the theme: Small Steps Change Lives. As we passed the booties, we emphasized the importance of forming strong relationships with children and supporting the adults in children's lives. After the film, we engaged in small and large group discussion. We also used the footprint template to document steps we will take to support children in our communities. "
- Kimberly Sherman, New Orleans, LA
Dan"Our graduate students in Michigan State University's chapter of Student Affiliates in School Psychology (SASP) made an effort during SPAW 2016 to connect with the community about the roles and joys of school psychology! We passed out NASP bookmarks and candy to undergraduate students to bring awareness to the field and engage in conversation. Our graduate teaching assistants presented to their undergraduate students using the NASP PowerPoint about school psychology. We also created thank you notes to our faculty and practicum supervisors thanking them for their guidance and wishing them a happy SPAW. Additionally, students posted on social media using a variety of NASP resources and fun articles about the field of school psychology!"
- Courtney Darr, East Lansing, MI

Displaying Activation Through Social Media

Providing New Supports 

  • Videos to Support SPAW Activities: The NASP Communications Committee ideated and recorded six short videos, which offers an introduction to SPAW, strategies to support student wellbeing, ways to use the SPAW card, and more. Visit the new SPAW videos page today.
  • Social Media Images: Based on a request from Twitter, NASP created SPAW social media images. These visual graphics were developed—based on the Small Steps Change Lives theme—to promote education and activation for SPAW.
  • #SmallStepsChangeLives Twitter Chat: The NASP Communications Committee hosted a live Twitter Chat on Inspiring and Advocating the Profession through School Psychology Awareness with the #NASPadvocates hashtag. This one-hour convening resulted in rich dialogue, and the creation of two deliverables to assist school psychologists with their SPAW efforts. Download the one-pager to see the main themes and check out the Storify to review the conversations.
  • Adaptable Communication Resources: The SPAW 2016 sample resources reflected this year’s theme. These include adaptable communication resources such as a one-pager, press release, proclamation, and family newsletter.
  • SPAW Thunderclap: Over 550 signed on for the NASP SPAW Thunderclap, which had a social reach of 375,187. Read the Policy Matters blog post to learn how Thunderclap can be an effective advocacy tool.
  • Resilience Screening and Twitter Chat: NASP offered a free screening of the documentary Resilience to its members, immediately followed by a Q & A with the film producer, James Redford, and education leader, Jim Sporleder. Review the one-pager and the Storify

Celebrating SPAW Throughout the Country

Over 600 tweets included the #SmallStepsChangeLives hashtag and many used other social media venues to communicate their SPAW activities. The Storify below aggregates the contributions, which include activity suggestions, quotes, reflections, pictures, and resources.