Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#reachhigher Photo Project

#reachhigher Photo Project

Reach Higher


If you haven’t had a chance to participate yet, please do. Share this post widely with your colleagues. I’ve received numerous photos so far but really want to “wow” those who will see it with a message that shows our strength in numbers and our collective commitment to #reachhigher.

Reach Higher is First Lady Michelle Obama’s education initiative. The established hashtag for the initiative is #reachhigher. At the most recent ASCA conference, the First Lady delivered an historical and unforgettable speech to over 2000 attendees. Michelle Obama acknowledged and praised the work of school counselors, recognition that was an undeniable milestone for the profession. In concert with the timing of her speech, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also sent out a compelling letter to state education leaders with a clear call to action to support the work of school counselors with concrete measures.
In response to this strong backing we have received from The White House, I’m suggesting that school counselors on social media come together to create a collective response to support the Reach Higher initiative. This response will be a photo project that will demonstrate the strength of the school counseling community and our commitment to postsecondary success for all students. Participants are ideally active school counselors atany level or interning school counseling graduate students. International participants are also welcome to participate and should indicate their country. See instructions below and submit your photos to erinmasonphd@gmail.com by July 25th, 2014.
NEW!!! All participants will be entered in to a drawing for a free, signed copy of 101 Solutions for School Counselors and Leaders in Challenging Times!
book cover

Instructions for participation:
1. Determine a specific goal you have for the next academic year, a data point you want to impact with your school counseling program. This should be a goal related to college readiness and should be a SMART goal. Your goal might be about impacting grades, GPAs, college-going rates, course enrollment patterns, etc. ALL levels are encouraged to participate!
2. Write or type out your goal on a plain white 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper with a horizontal orientation and visible, clean, clear type or print. Begin your goal with the phrase, “I will #reachhigher to…” Here are several possible examples:
I will #reachhigher to increase the graduation rate.
I will #reachhigher to enroll more minority students in AP courses.
I will #reachhigher to increase the knowledge of 7th graders about postsecondary options.
I will #reachhigher to decrease the number of students with Ds and Fs.
Optionally, include your FIRST name only and your state but DO NOT include information about your school or district. Take an individual photo or one with your co-counselor, counseling team, department or others in your state.
I will
3. Have your picture taken holding the piece of paper. Optionally, you may wish to stand in front of a monument, building or article that represents your state. This might be a department of education building, a state welcome sign, a famous landmark, a pennant of a state university, etc. Make sure your goal can be easily read in the photo.
4. Send a clear image to erinmasonphd@gmail.com by July 25th, 2014 with “Reach Higher Photo Project” in the subject line. There is no guarantee your photo will be used as it will depend on the number of photos submitted and their clarity. If you have any questions, please contact erinmasonphd@gmail.com.

All accepted photos will be combined into a slideshow in time for the July 28th convening on college advising at Harvard that is referenced in the First Lady’s speech and will be made available here on the SCOPE site.