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Congratulations to VCAF Spring 2012 Grant Recipients!

Elizabeth Beatley,
School Counselor

The Village Project
Pole Green Elementary School,
Hanover County Public Schools
$500.00 Grant for Community Service and Collaboration Project
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Liz Beatley

Jessica Lloyd-Hazlett,
Doctoral Student

Family-School Intervention Data Collection Project
College of William & Mary,
Williamsburg, Virginia
$500.00 Grant for Interdisciplinary Collaboration Program - Family and School Counselors

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Jessica Lloyd-Hazlett

The Village Project

Elizabeth Beatley, the school counselor at Pole Green Elementary School in Hanover County, submitted this proposal.

This project is intended to foster a sense of community in the school by increasing collaborative student participation in mentorships and community service, resulting in a greater sense of community within the school. A pilot of the program yielded the following comments from students: they had more friends from different classes; they had more friends who were different from them; and they had experienced more fun activities at school.

Upper level classes will be paired with lower level classes to form villages that will meet periodically throughout the year to collaborate on a variety community service projects. The projects selected will be age appropriate activities performed for a variety of agencies in the community, such as Children's Hospital, senior centers, etc.

Village Project

Children brings gifts for Salvation Army Drive, and School staff members load gifts for Salvation Army.

Village Project 2
Dr. Lang, Operation Smile Volunteer Dr. Lang, (left) who volunteers for Operation Smile, using a globe to show one of our 4th graders some of the places where he operates on children with cleft palates. He came and did a presentation to another 1st/4th grade Village and they will be doing a Spring collection of pocket mirrors, toothbrushes, and toothpaste to send on Operation Smile missions.

Family-School Intervention Data Collection Project

Jessica Lloyd-Hazlett, a doctoral student at the College of William and Mary, submitted the proposal in order to gather input to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, produce a summary of the current state of family-school interventions, and delineate recommendations for future practice. Selected school counselors from three levels in the Peninsula and Tidewater regions of Virginia will be interviewed to assess professional school counselors? perceptions of current practices, barriers, and opportunities for collaboration between family and school counseling disciplines. These interviews will inform the direction of a focus group made up of diverse participants representing school counselors and family counselors. The goal of this group will be to review major themes emerging from the interviews, generate a summary of current status of family-school interventions, and propose recommendations related to best practices for family-school collaboration.
Both grant recipients will report results to the VCAF Board and will disseminate information at professional meetings and to other appropriate audiences.

Update:  10/1/2012

Recently, I have had the opportunity to engage in research related to collaboration between professional school and family counselors. As a family counselor serving the Hampton Roads area, I've witnessed the tremendous difference consistent communication and teamwork between schools and community agencies can make in the lives of our clients. I have also observed this can often be challenging because of busy schedules, differing roles, and other barriers. Given the importance of inter-disciplinary collaboration, I became interested in identifying potential impediments to this process, as well as to develop a series of recommendations to strengthen this practice.

Jessica with Focus  Group
To date, 84 professional school counselors have completed an electronic survey assessing the frequency and type of family services provided, as well as perceived personal and institutional challenges. Later this month, a group of school counselors will meet to discuss and summarize these quantitative of findings and to forward recommendations to VCAF. The positive response to this research project has been overwhelming. I am excited to continue this project, to meet with colleagues, and to, ultimately provide concrete resources and strategies to the Virginia community. As a graduate student, I am tremendously grateful for the support of VCAF through this research grant. This research would have been otherwise impossible.
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