Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Celebrating Diversity

by Matt Marenghi

On Saturday, January 14th seven of Blake’s ADL Peer Leaders attended the 15th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Conference at Framingham State University. Accompanied by Senora Gonzalez, Mrs. Campbell, and myself, it proved to be a wonderful opportunity to connect with a diverse group a students, all in tribute to Dr. King’s vision and dream.

We attended a workshop at the conference that focused on all the students’ varying aspirations and hopes when it came to pursuing higher education. This workshop was lead by current college students who were willing to share their own struggles and successes about their respective paths to this point. As much as I think it was great for Blake’s Peer Leaders to hear how students from different communities might feel about higher education, it was also quite enlightening for my own “guidance” lens.

Our students also participated in team building activities, which further gave them the opportunity to get to more personally know the students from other schools. Each activity was followed by a reflective discussion lead by the facilitators. These discussions lent themselves to larger-scope discussions about race relations in our society. Acknowledging the troubling events over the past few years, the students were encouraged to see that by working together they could combat bigotry and prejudice.

Without any judgement, I think it would be fair to say that Medfield is not a very racially diverse community - at least compared to that of other communities in the area. I cherished the opportunity to have the seven white students I was responsible for work with and celebrate a national holiday with students who are not white. This is not just because they might not have the same opportunity within their own community, or that I am a fierce advocate of celebrating diversity, but because it was in keeping with a hero’s dream.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Elementary Book Read

by Kathleen Bockhorst & Lindsey Warner

Join us for an elementary parent discussion, of the book The Price of Privilege, by Madeline Levine, Ph.D. This New York Times bestseller addresses the importance of fostering resilience in our children and how parents’ best intentions can go awry. Levine’s engaging accounts of the myriad of parenting traps, that derail best efforts to raise independent and confident children, along with her suggested solutions, make it a thought provoking read. At first glance, it looks like a book relevant to parenting teens, however, we picked this book for elementary parents because the solutions Levine puts forth are best implemented starting in the early years.

The book discussion is open to all elementary parents/guardians K-5.

We look forward to your joining us for one of the two discussion groups:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 9:30-11:00 am @ Wheelock School
Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 6:30-8:00 pm @ Dale Street School

Space is Limited - ​Please by 2/27/17 to 

Kathleen Bockhorst, 
Memorial and Wheelock Guidance Counselor

Lindsey Warner
Dale Guidance Counselor

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Gap Year Opportunities

by Anne Lodge

Recently, the guidance counselors spent time with the juniors to kick off the conversation about the future planning process. The focus of our sessions was on college planning and sharing information about college search tools (what the students are looking for) and the admission process (what colleges are looking for in them). While college was the main focus of our group sessions, we also introduced other post-secondary options for students to consider. One of those areas has been getting more press in recent months thanks, in part, to Malia Obama: gap year programs.

A gap year, or bridge year, is exactly what it’s name implies: a break between periods of academic study, typically between high school and higher education. What students can do with their gap year, however, is often much more of a rewarding journey of growth than an actual break. There are a plethora of gap year programs out there where students have the opportunity to travel, volunteer, get work experience, or study an area of passion. While some might question the benefit of deferring education for a period of time, worrying that a student might lose their academic momentum and not return to the traditional classroom setting, a good amount of anecdotal evidence indicates that gap years shape lives in very positive ways. One recent article in the New York Times speaks specifically to this data. Additionally, there is emerging data that 90% who took a gap year returned to college within one year (http://online.wsj.com).

If you or your child is wondering if a gap year program might be the right fit for after graduation, we encourage you to have a conversation with your guidance counselor. We are more than happy to help you explore some options and talk about opportunities. There are also great websites and some popular programs that might give you some additional information and some upcoming local gap year fairs where you can meet with different program representatives to learn more. Medfield’s Guidance webpage also links to numerous resources and the American Gap Year website has a lot of wonderful data and information.

Upcoming Gap Year Fairs:
January 17, 6-9 pm, Brookline High School
January 21, 1-4 pm, Noble and Greenough School
January 22, 12-3 pm, Phillips Andover Academy

Popular Programs & Helpful Websites: