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Insights from Colorado School Counselors

By Tammi Boeke and Tara M. Gray | October 2019

Student Viewpoints Surrounding Equity

By Tammi Boeke

School counselors are trained to work in diverse populations with a variety of tools to help them provide equitable services to the students they serve. In this month’s CSCA Board Member feature, Tammi Boeke, Region 8 representative and a school counselor at Eagle Valley High School, discusses equity from the view of her students.

When I had the choice to write about “equity in education,” I thought it would be a fairly easy task since our district has taken on Corwin’s Deep Equity program this year and much of our focus will be on this. Boy, was I wrong! I think I have more questions now about what equity actually means in the educational world than I did when we started...which is good. Questions mean growth and that is what we are doing.

Within our Deep Equity work, we are working with Wade Colwell and Benjie Howard to establish a Youth Equity Stewardship (YES!) group within our student body. I attended the first of five gatherings to help train our students to help promote inclusiveness and equity in our schools and community. This gathering focused on personal culture/personal journey and invited – and, at times, challenged – all attendees, adult and student, to personally reflect on these things through different activities throughout the day. Two themes stand out to me from this day. Read the complete article.

Art Therapy in School Counseling

By Tara M. Gray, PhD

Have you ever considered using art therapy as an approach to serve different types of learners? This month, Tara M. Gray, Ph.D., a school counselor in Telluride, Colo., provides some information about ways school counselors can use art therapy with students, supported by underlying research.

Art therapy is an evidence-based, developmentally appropriate therapy for children and adolescents in schools that helps students achieve social, emotional and academic success. Drawing and artwork allow children to safely, creatively and symbolically express and process their thoughts and feelings. School counselors are experts in providing a safe space and a caring, empathic, nonjudgmental relationship for students. Allowing students the choice to incorporate nonverbal communication with a variety of art materials and supplies provides students a therapeutic opportunity to draw, paint or sculpt in a culturally responsive way that reduces stress and anxiety while increasing student academic adjustment and emotion regulation. Read the complete article.