Sunday, July 28, 2013

It Stuck With Me! #2

My Twitter Feed really keeps me in the loop with the latest educational stories. Follow me on Twitter - @EElementarySC. This particular Tweet and Blog Post "Stuck With Me" because it speaks to urban school counselors and collegiate sports.

Diane Ravitch's Blog Post: How Do You Measure Dedication?   briefly talked about a moment that made an impact during ASCA13. A recently laid-off Philadelphia School Counselor attended the ASCA Conference and the NCAA session in order to get information for "her students" -- even though she no longer was employed at the mentioned high school. My heart breaks for the students in that school...they need her in their ball court! I strongly feel that her students (and any other urban or rural student being affected by drastic budget cuts and staff layoffs) deserve to have the same opportunities as any other child, in any other town. When will the masses stand-up and fight against the inequity in public education?  Nonetheless, I had the privilege of meeting a number of dedicated Philadelphia school counselors during the conference - all there for professional and personal development and for their students - regardless of their employment status! 

In this case, the school counselor sought information about collegiate athletic scholarships for her students -- students who will not have a professional school counselor at their fingertips to "coach" them through the process. I am sure she is keenly aware of the opportunities sport will afford a number of her students will/may be life (and family) altering. Furthermore, I am sure this very school counselor is focused on keeping the "spark" of playing sports lit within her students athletes. A spark that could be the springboard to bigger and better things in their future. 

I was an athlete growing up as a kid playing the sports that were available to me as a female - a product of Title IX, a product of educators and coaches guiding me and challenging me, and parents who were supportive.  The hard work paid off and I was fortunate to have earned a partial athletic scholarship to study at Division 1 Rutgers University. I am a firm believer in the power that sport can have on today's youth. Physical activity, time management and organizational skills, a sense of belonging to a team/group/school, setting and meeting goals, teamwork, healthy competition, perseverance, conforming to rules and coaching, building internal motivation, needing the grades to play, handling constructive criticism, communication skills, and being connected to the school community are all just a few of the benefits/skills that playing an interscholastic, community, or intramural sport gives to students. Clearly, these are all skills that would help a student become college and career ready. 

All of this "Stuck With Me" this past week when I read Diane's blog post: the role of urban school counselors, an example of the consequences of eliminating school counselors in Philadelphia, the dedication of school counselors everywhere, and the power of sport with today's male and female student-athletes. 

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