The special week honoring school counselors provides recognition for school counselors who "implement comprehensive school counseling programs, a vital part of the educational process for all students as they meet the challenges of the 21st century," according to Valdosta Mayor John Gayle who signed the proclamation designating Feb. 1–5 as National School Counseling Week in the greater Valdosta area.
In a proclamation, Mayor Gayle cited school counselors for being actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents; for working in a partnership with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today's world; for focusing on positive ways to enhance students' social/personal, educational and career development; and working with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. Professional school counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master's degree in guidance and counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.
More than 30,000 school counselors nationwide will be participating in the week's festivities. Many school counselors will be hosting special events and activities to call attention to the benefits of a comprehensive school counseling program.
As part of its celebration for National School Counseling Week, Valdosta, Lowndes and Valdosta State school counselors, professors and interns attended a training on Thursday, January 28 at VSU where Dr. Lynn Adams spoke about effective strategies to implement when counseling students who suffer from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Teddi Cunningham spoke to counselors concerning legal and ethical issues in the supervision process. Mayor Gayle visited the event to sign the proclamation honoring these educators. Parents or community members with specific questions or concerns about school counseling programs should contact the school counselors at their local schools. More general information can also be found on ASCA's website, www.schoolcounselor.org.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a worldwide nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Va. Founded in 1952, ASCA supports school counselors' efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development so they not only achieve success in school but are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. The association, which is the school counseling division of the American Counseling Association, provides professional development, publications and other resources, research and advocacy to more professional school counselors around the globe.