ECHO Delivers a Powerful Message at the AOCC

By Amy Theodor, ECHO Counselor

ECHO staff members had the honor of presenting at the All Ohio Counselors Conference on November 3, 2016. This annual conference is held in Columbus and co-sponsored by the Ohio Counseling Association and The Ohio School Counselor Association.  ECHO Director Rhonda Mercs, counselor Amy Theodor, and family advocate Michelle Sherman presented in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 215 school and mental health counselors from across the state.

The title of the presentation was, “A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Non-Academic Barriers to Learning.” Rhonda and Amy educated the attendees on strategies to identify and address mental health, behavior, and trauma issues that present obstacles to student success in the classroom. Michelle informed the audience about current poverty rates, methods to connecting families to resources, and how to engage students’ parents in the educational process.

The ECHO presenters used their own experiences with the students and families they serve to illustrate an effective approach to addressing the barriers that many face.  The underlying message of the presentation focused on building respectful and supportive relationships to form an alliance with students and families so they will be empowered to overcome obstacles. This message was well received and is congruent with ECHO’s mission to establish and support a healthy learning environment in each classroom so that children are unencumbered by the stresses of everyday life and can focus and learn.

Edited by Barb Miller

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