March 7, 2012 - The Pitt County School system joins in the nationwide celebration of School Social Work Week from March 4-10.
In Pitt County Schools, many program ideas have been developed, implemented and facilitated since the department’s inception in 1989. School social workers have many responsibilities and roles within the school setting. Many of the social workers use their skills by conducting various groups within their schools. At the high school level, three of our social workers conduct parenting groups for those students that are parenting teens. These groups are available at JH Rose, South Central High School and DH Conley. Teen parenting can be very stressful and these groups can offer students with the additional support they need to be successful. Most of these groups meet at least monthly and can offer information on parenting skills to help these students be better parents and in turn more effective students.
Another group that has started this year at DH Conley is the coordination of the Latino Youth in Action educational group conducted by the social worker and Mr. Juvencio Peralta with AMEXCAN. A need was observed within the school setting for this population regarding educational needs of the students. This group meets twice each month and now includes coordination by the social worker, counselors and Mr. Peralta. This group offers information on educational opportunities, resources available to this population and support. This is just another intervention to assist with keeping these students in school and to help with prevent dropout prevention.
Warren C. Moore conducts a “Reading Is Cool” group at H. B. Sugg Elementary School. Mr. Moore goes into Two Second grade classes and read books to the students. In the beginning Mr. Moore was reading the books read at Barnes & Nobles each Tuesday night. Now the students greet Mr. Moore at the door with their own books to have read. As a School Social Worker, there is always a focus on lowering the student dropout rate, Mr. Moore understands the correlation between poor reading skills and the increased chance of a student dropping out of school. This reading group helps students view reading as being important for future academic success, and as being cool and something to feel proud about. Moore also facilitates a Social Skills group for seventh grade males at Farmville Middle School. This group is conducted to help decrease students office referrals, out of school suspensions, and trips to in school suspension. Topics consisted of effective communication with teachers & peers, self-esteem, academic success, attendance, hygiene and grooming issues. Students are also allowed to present issues they have with both their teachers and peers to get feedback on positive ways to handle that issue.
At Pactolus and Hope Middle schools, the social worker conducts groups with students regarding overall coping skills. At Pactolus, the group consists of seventh grade females that are dealing with various issues such as peer pressure, bullying, positive decision making skills and stress management. At Hope Middle, a group is conducted with eighth grade males from the exceptional children's program who are working on issues related to self-esteem, making good choices, and anger management and communication skills. These groups offer these students with more individual attention to discuss these issues which may interfere with their education.