Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Time for Students to Prepare for School Psychology Awareness Week 2015

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Time for Students to Prepare for School Psychology Awareness Week 2015

Article excerpt

As November approaches, school psychologists and graduate students around the nation prepare to promote and advocate for our profession and the children we serve. The theme of this year's School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW) is Connect the Dots and THRIVE, meaning we charge ourselves with the task of connecting students to resources that can maximize their academic, social, and life skills. As usual, there are two main ways to get involved: supporting students directly, or sharing your knowledge to empower the community to help its children thrive.

lasT Year's accOmPlishmeNTs

Each year, students are highlighted for their efforts in helping their community and advocating for the profession. Last year, the theme was Strive, Grow, THRIVE, so we applauded programs that engaged students to improve their skills and grow as members of the community. In addition to thematic efforts, there are certain activities that many students choose to do every year. Faculty appreciation day, book or school supply drives, and presentations featuring the NASP PowerPoint introducing school psychology to undergraduate students are tried and true methods of getting involved. In the past several years, successful programs have created committees and teams to organize and implement their ideas. For this reason, we have begun recognizing groups at the annual NASP convention with SPAW and Advocacy awards. Last year, students were recognized not only for their efforts, but also their results. Two examples of the activities carried out by the award winners are described below.

University of Missouri. The students at the University of Missouri volunteered for a community foster child organization by organizing games and contests for the children to enjoy while also providing a needed respite for the busy staff. Their efforts provided information and raised awareness about careers in school psychology and the contributions of school psychologists to the children and families they serve. The program also ran a SPAW social media campaign, and provided free hot chocolate to university students on a cold day while sharing information about careers in school psychology.

California State University. In addition to faculty appreciation and spreading school psychology awareness to undergraduate students, last year's Advocacy Award winners contacted each of their school board members to underscore the importance of school psychology and encourage them to recognize local school psychologists. They also attended a school board meeting, where the board responded positively and proposed a resolution to recognize School Psychology Awareness Week, concluding with a plaque offered in honor of the school psychology program.

geTTiNg iNVOlVed

Striving and growing were integral parts of last year's SPAW theme, and programs around the nation showed that their efforts make a real difference in the schools and communities that they serve. Below you will find some ideas to spark your imagination and begin your planning on ways you can get involved in SPAW 2015:

* Form a committee or small group to delegate responsibilities.

*Set up information booths about school psychology at your university.

* Hand out flyers and hang posters.

* Hold a "Faculty Appreciation Day" celebration.

* Volunteer or hold fundraisers for a local organization or charity.

* Make career-focused presentations to undergraduate or high school students, using the career resources and brochures available on the NASP website. …

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