First Annual Boys Night Out

Even though school hasn't really started, there has been a lot of planning going on. Especially during my non-maternity maternity leave (aka summer time). We have gotten a variety of events on the calendar.

After two successful years of Girls Night Out, we will finally be adding a Boys Night Out to our schedule! At first I attempted to compromise by just having a breakfast for the boys and their dads. But, my colleague convinced me it was only fair to do for the boys what we are doing for the girls.

I guess I was just having a hard time finding a movie or something that addressed bullying in a way that boys could relate.

Side Note: I have really appreciated the focus that society has put on taking care of girls - self-esteem, confidence, sucking the marrow out of life and doing whatever they put their mind too. However, now that I have my own boy, I can't help but think that in our process of expanding the universe to girls and women, we continue to pigeonhole boys and men. I want to make sure that our School Counseling Program takes care of everyone, not leaning towards one or the other. 

So, we went ahead and put the date on the calendar for this Boys Night Out - not really sure or committed to a movie. In desperation, I knew that I could turn to The Ant Bully - but I wanted something more - especially since we would be including 5th grade boys in this night.

I searched and searched and searched and FINALLY I came across a movie I think will be perfect for our Boys Night Out.

An overview from Scholastic states, "The Newbery Honor book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen celebrates young people's ability to make a difference in society. It challenges readers to think about how people are treated and how people treat the world around them." 

I found a great movie guide that should help me in processing the movie and creating discussion points for our guys. You can check it out HERE

As with the book club, I will let you know how this goes. 

Do you hold a Boys Night Out? What materials do you use? 

A Book Club

Something you may not know about me, but could probably guess is that I am a book nerd. Always have been. I was typically one to experience life within the pages of a book then experience anything out in the real world. As I have gotten older, I have gotten better at actually experiencing life, then reading about it.

Experiencing sometimes meaning going to every midnight book release and movie premiere of Harry Potter...

Still. I love reading and so I am really excited to share the latest group initiative that I will be trying this year at our middle school level.

That's right: a book club!

The Giver has been one of my favorite books since I was younger. But, with the release of a movie this year, I thought it would be perfect to create a book club around it. I decided that I was going to only invite 6th graders, although I was tempted to do 5th grade. However, I believe that this book perfectly matches the dynamic of this particular 6th grade group.

Thanks to these bloggers and their strategies for a book club:
JY Joyner Counselor 
Life on the Fly .... A School Counselor Blog

I decided on a direction and structure that I think will work for me and my population.

1) 10-12 students (keeping it small to allow for more content discussion and growth)
2) What's read in book club, stays in book club- we will only read when we are together
3) The Giver is what we will focus on all year.. diving deep into discussion.
4) There will be activities. And personal "spark note" guides.
5) Our finale will consist of  food and a preview of the movie (with parent permission). and food.

Check out the trailer...


Even though I want to really talk about the characters and the application of the book's theme to the real world, my overall purpose of this group is building relational capacity. I don't really mind if there is a mix of students. In The Giver it is all about "sameness" - why would I mimic that in our book club? I want the students to come together over something they love and be able to see the beauty in each others differences.

However, I will still be doing a pretest and post test.

All of these things I will share with you. As I create them and make them and experience them. In the meantime, make sure you read The Giver yourself. It's amazing.


As many of you know, First Lady Michelle Obama has started the #ReachHigher initiative to encourage every student to go beyond High School and completing some kind of post-secondary education.

As School Counselors, we play a significant part in this initiative- whether working in an elementary, middle, or high school. This was made even more clear when Mrs. Obama made a wonderful speech at the latest ASCA conference.

On top of that, Erin Mason, a mover and shaker in the School Counseling interwebs, began her own initiative encouraging School Counselors to share how they would #ReachHigher this year in their schools. Of course, both Krista and I jumped at the opportunity to share our goals to help students prepare for post-secondary life.

I thought it would be cool to post these pictures outside of our office so that our school knows exactly what we will be striving for! Talk about accountability and getting energized every day with purpose!


Check out the video showcasing tons of School Counselors and their #ReachHigher goals. It's pretty amazing to see what people are working towards >>>>>>