Growing Happy and Confident Kids
A Special Initiative of the American Counseling Association Foundation
Young people today face innumerable challenges, possibly more than any generation before them. The world in which our kids grow and develop has been made fragile by threats both near and far.
In schools, competition to succeed, peer pressure, and aggressive behavior by bullies are representative of the many threats to individual success and self-esteem. At home, relationships can become tenuous or broken. In neighborhoods and communities, violence, gangs, substance abuse, and other problems are more prevalent than ever before. Finally, in the larger world, no child can turn on a television set and not witness crime, war, terrorism, and global unrest.
The cadre of professional counselors working with children in our schools, community organizations and counseling centers are in a unique position to help young boys and girls develop healthier views of themselves, their home, their school, their community and all of the interpersonal relationships they will encounter in their early lives.
The American Counseling Association Foundation's (ACAF), Growing Happy and Confident Kids (GHCK) initiative involves elementary schools, community organizations and counseling centers in a special project that promotes self-esteem, self-efficacy, understanding of emotions, coping strategies, and living in a diverse society.
Through the love of reading among elementary school age children, the GHCK initiative uses more than 30 works of children's literature for individual and group interaction that will allow participating children to become more aware, expressive and confident, qualities that the American Counseling Association Foundation believes will add to their potential of succeeding in school and society.
Project grants for counselors, community organizations, and counseling centers must meet the following criteria:
- Teach, mentor, or tutor elementary age children;
- Commitment to and interest in using children's literature as a vehicle for promoting self-esteem, self-efficacy, understanding of emotions, coping strategies, and diversity;
- Willing to evaluate the use of the GHCK initiative in your school, community organization, or counseling center and provide feedback to ACAF.
ACAF will provide grantees who are members of the American Counseling Association (ACA) with 10 books of their choice from the approved works of literature in the project.
Interested counselors who work in a school, community organization or counseling center should complete the project application and submit it to the American Counseling Association Foundation at 6101 Stevenson Ave., Alexandria, VA 22304, for consideration.
For additional information about the GHCK project, contact ACAF at 800-347-6647 x350 or via email at GHCKproject@counseling.org.
Click here to download GHCK project application and book list (PDF). Please note: as of July 1, 2008 this is an ACA members-only program.
For additional information about the GHCK project, contact the American Counseling Association Foundation at 1-800-347-6647, ext. 350, or via email at GHCKproject@counseling.org.