National School Counseling Week recognizes professionals who make a difference everyday

Local counselor talks about the challenges facing kids today and the rewards of her work.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 6:35 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s National School Counseling Week -- a time to recognize the men and women who work tirelessly to help students around the country and here at home.

There are hundreds of students at Monac Elementary in the Washington Local School District and the school counselor is a big part of helping them get on a path to success in the classroom and in life.

Melanie Robinson is the School Counselor at Monac.

“For me, one of the most important things as a school counselor is to be proactive, so I go in and teach every other week in the classroom. If something comes up, and they need to talk with me, they feel more comfortable,” Robinson said.

And one person can make a difference in many lives.

“It only takes one adult to show a child they believe in them, care about them, that they are listening and checking in. That means the world to a student,” Robinson said.

Melanie says there are a wide range of issues and challenges facing the children.

“We deal with anxiety, some depression, loss of parents or grandparents, a beloved pet, divorce and getting along with others.”

Melanie has been a counselor at Monac for 14 years, and the issues children deal with continue to be more and more difficult on a number of levels.

“The are a lot of different, difficult situations where kids need an extra person to talk to in a safe place.”

Melanie says she enjoys her work with the kids throughout their years at Monac.

“Unlike teachers who have them for one year, I get to follow their growth for several years, whether it is academic, social or emotional.”

And Melanie has some help with her work from a four-legged counselor named Brooke.

“Brooke is a magic wand for school counseling. She is a friend to everyone. She doesn’t judge anyone. Petting her helps the kids. Sometimes when the kids don’t want to talk to an adult, they talk to Brooke.”

In addition to counseling work, Brooke also goes to the playground with kids and students can earn extra time with her. She lives with Melanie.

Melanie says one of the most rewarding things about her work is hearing from students later in their lives about what a difference she made for them.

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