Giving Thanks & Giving Back


Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020


In the month of December we would like to talk about social awareness. According to CASEL (2020), social awareness includes the capacity “to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.” This got the counseling team to think, how can students feel good about giving back and what are the things they need themselves to feel emotionally supported? In the article by Educational Playcare , they discuss the value in giving back and understanding its relation to gratitude and kindness. In this time of giving, talk to your children about your past experiences in volunteering or giving back to a loved one or someone in your community. Describe how it felt and why it was important to you. This may get the conversion going and may open the door for the endless possibilities to give back!  

Here are some ways you and your family can work together to give back! 

  • Go through old toys and clothes and collect to drop off at your nearest donation center. 

  • Search up the nearest food pantries to donate foods and learn ways to volunteer. 

  • Let your child(ren) be involved in the giving process! Ask them about the ideas they have!


Celebrating holidays around the world

These next couple of months mark the beginning of the holiday season. While some celebrate ecstatically others might not. One way or another, this season could represent a time for traditions, family, and memories. Having your children understand their own holidays and/or traditions could be a fun and interesting time. It helps build bonds and understanding others’ customs furthers their social-awareness and relationships. Below are some articles for you and your family to explore and become more connected to the many traditions around the world.


what studens can expect from their school counselors this month:


At this age, children are eager to give and receive! As parents and educators, we want to provide children with the opportunity to understand the value in giving back but also understand how they feel. If we are proactive in teaching children about social-awareness by demonstrating empathy, showing concerns for others and their feelings, and understanding and expressing gratitude, we help students to develop the necessary social and self awareness skills to be successful. 

This month for SEL, Ms. Abreu will provide a lesson on gratitude and giving back. Students will learn about different ways they can give back and understand the meaning of gratitude. We will also reflect on how it feels to give and recognize what we need in order to feel emotionally fulfilled! 

Middle School:  

At this age, children begin to understand the connections between their emotions and reactions/decisions. These concepts are taught by showing what self-awareness and social awareness look like. Self-awareness encompasses the abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts . Social awareness includes the ability to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts (CASEL, 2020 ).

Through Ms. Montes’ lessons this month, students will explore their own abilities to be self-aware and how social awareness is displayed towards them and their surroundings.  They will learn ways to contribute and give back to their communities in ways they probably have not thought about before...digitally! After this activity, participants will have a better understanding of themselves and their social circles.  

High School:

Finals During COVID-19: How to Help Your High School Student Ace Their Finals

The Spring 2020 semester is coming to an end, and that means finals week is fast approaching. However, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, your child will be doing their finals at home on their computers. Studying or taking a final in a classroom is much different than taking it at home. Fortunately, with some planning, they can avoid last minute panic. Here are a few tips and tricks you can share with your child to try to bridge that gap. 

  1. Create the right environment for learning from home and limit distractions.

  2. Get organized now. Don’t wait until the week before finals to make a study plan. Understanding the testing procedures for an online exam takes extra time and  consideration. 

  3. Safeguard your tech. Take a few minutes to back up your computer or use Google Docs to automatically save your work - this is not an ideal time to lose your work-in-progress. 

  4. Find online study tools that work for your child. Whether they prefer flashcards, chatting with classmates, practice quizzes, or supplemental tutoring - be consistent! 

  5. Encourage self-care and stress relieving practices. Getting enough sleep and having a well-balanced diet is extremely important to memory and attention. 


IF YOU SUspect your child is experiencing any difficulties whether academically, socially, or emotionally, please encourage them to seek the support of the school counselor or other trusted adults.


December Dates of Recognition

Safe Toys & Gifts Month

December 2nd  -  Special Education Day

December 5th  - International Volunteer Day





  • Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL; 2020). SEL: What are the core competence areas and where are they promoted? .