School Psychology Awareness Week 2015 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.

Deeds"Our school District employs 58 school psychologists. Our Public Information Officer along with our media department decided to make an informational video to display all week on our school district website. I was one of the two school psychologists asked to take part in the video and talk about school psychologist, what we do and why it is important to have school psychologists in schools. Overall this was an excellent way to spread awareness of our role and function as well as highlight key areas where we support students, parents, and school communities."
- Deeds Gill, Fresno, CA
Susan"I focused on the "Be Grateful" aspect of the Connect the Dots and THRIVE poster. I taught a lesson on what a School Psychologist is and why having access to a School Psychologist is important for students. Then we discussed gratitude, some research about gratitude, and tied it into Thanksgiving. Each student was provided a large piece of paper and he/she wrote down something they were grateful for. Then each student held up the piece of paper and I took a picture of him/her. The pictures were developed and then posted on "Dots" throughout the walls of the middle school. Others that also participated in the activity were teachers, two counselors, Principal, Social Worker, and Speech Pathologist."
- Susan Whitney, Chicago, IL
Brittany"Created two posters that incorporated the theme of SPAW with an opportunity for school psychologists around the state of Colorado to share how they connect the dots for their building/district/community. Distributed the posters I created state-wide with the permission of the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Society of School Psychologists. Additionally, brought the posters to the Colorado Society of School Psychologists Annual Conference and had opportunities for practitioners from around the state to take pictures with them and upload them to their personal social media accounts."
- Brittany Johnstone, Denver, OH
Ina"1. I gave school teachers, staff, and administrators a copy of the NASP Core messages handout and a copy of the "Connect the Dots" bookmark. 2. I had students in my Kindness Club discuss the "Connect the Dots" poster and make dots showing how they could help others. 3. I put up the "Connect the Dots" poster and connected the dots to it made by the students of my "Kindness Club." 4. I left copies of the SPAW parent newsletter and "Connect the Dots" bookmarks on the parent information table in the main hallway of the school"
- Ina Slaughter, Washington, DC
Dan"I am one of two school psychologists in my building. Together we: 1) Worked with a school psych practicum student to create a bulletin board incorporating the "Connect the dots and thrive" theme. Co-presented, along with 2 school psych practicum students, the "Text, Talk, Act" program to 8 high school health classes 3) Provided daily mental health facts over the morning announcements 4) Set up a table in the school lobby each morning and invited students to write something they were thankful for on a paper leaf. The leaves were displayed on a tree 5) Presented at a board of ed mtg"
- Dan Hurley, Hyde Park, NY
Micah"A few graduate students created an info session table to tell undergraduate students about the school psychology profession and about our program at McGill University. We used the NASP resources in addition to resources from our program website."
- Micah Tilley, Montreal, Canada
Emily"I developed a hallway display in one of my schools based on the #ConnectTheDots theme. I took a picture of it and sent that to the superintendent's office, along with a letter thanking them for their recognition of School Psych Awareness week (they sent out a card this week to every school psychologist in the district thanking them for their service)."
- Emily Klein, New Castle, DE
Emily"I made a HUGE connect the dots and thrive poster and hung it in the cafeteria. I handed out a flyer, nomination forms, and a dot for the poster to ALL staff (custodians, teachers, superintendent....everyone!). Announcements were made everyday with instructions to stop by the main office or the counseling office to fill out a dot for the poster. This was so students could participate voluntarily. I sent an email to all staff everyday with a video and/or additional resources related to the theme. We did awards for one adult and one student from high school and the same from elementary. They were announced today and were given a NASP certificate and a prize (giftcard/sweet treat/toy.)"
- Emily Bersaglia, Rawson, OH