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EducationSupportProfessionalsESPsmakeupone-thirdoftheeducationworkforce.SourceNEAK-12ESPMembershipSurveySpring2012andNEAElevatingESPCareersresearchstudy2012.EDUCATIONSUPPORTPROFESSIONALSMeetingtheNeedsoftheWholeStudent14www.nea.orgespJanisBiancoRetiredSeniorStenographerRondoutValleyCentralSchoolDistrictAccordNewYorkJanisBiancoworkedasaseniorstenographerfortheRondoutValleyCentralSchoolDistrictfor32years.Sheretiredin2012.ThatsameyearsheandotherretirededucatorsandcommunityvolunteersattheRoundoutValleyFoodPantryhelpeddeveloptheBackpackprogramwhichcompilesandsendshomebackpacksfulloffoodforstudentstotakehomeovertheweekends.FromourworkwithstudentsweknewthatmanyRondoutValleychildrenwerenotgettingthefoodtheyneededwhentheywenthomefortheweekendsaidJanis.Thebackpacksincludetwobreakfaststhreeentreesaloafofbreadjuiceboxesacardforagallonofmilkfruitsveggiesandsnacksalongwithsomepersonalcareitemsthatvolunteersfeelwouldbenetthechildren.Webeganwithabout30students.Asoftodayweareupto60studentsthatweserviceinourtwoelementaryschoolsintermediateschoolandjuniorhighschool.Thedemandforthebackpacksisntgoingaway.BelievemeifthereweremorefundsavailablewewouldbedoingmanymorebackpackssaidJanis.Thegroupworkstosecuregrantmoneyandraisefundsthroughdonationsfromareateach-ersschoolsupportpersonnelschoolclubsorganizationsandlocalchurches.Withoutthehelpofthecommunitythisprogramwouldnotexistshesaid.Janisexpressedhowhappythestudentsaretoreceivetheirbackpacks.Theirfamiliesaredoingthebesttheycanwiththehardtimestheyareexperiencingandwearejustputtingoutalittleextrahelpinghandandlovetohelpthemoutshesaid.ChristieThereaultPlanningRoomSupervisorBrattleboroAreaMiddleSchoolBrattleboroVermontTodaywasoneoftheworstdaysatthepsychiatricandaddictiontreatmentcenterwhereChristieThereaultworksasamentalhealthworker.Atthetreatmentcenterschildrensprogramalargeghtbrokeoutamongtenofthechildrenleavingthechargenursewithabrokennose.Workingatcentersliketheseisnotforthefaint-heartedbutChristieisnotfaintheart-ed.Ivebeenkickedandbruisedmanytimes.Thatspartofthepriceyoupayworkinginatreatmentcenter.Thestasupportseachotherandweknowthatitspartoftheriskoftryingtohelpchildrenwithsevereemotionalproblems.Atthecenterchildrenasyoungasvecomefortreatmentforavarietyofemotionalandbehavioralhealthissues.Thesekidsarehurting.Theirbehaviorsaresometimesaresultofmentalillnessandothertimesitsenvironmental.Impassionateaboutworkingwithchildrenbecauseifwecanhelpthemnowmaybetheyhaveabetterchanceinlifeasanadult.TheoldertheygetthemoreentrenchedthesebehaviorscanbecomesaysChristie.ChristiesexperienceatthetreatmentcenteralongwithherdegreeinpsychologyhashelpedherwithensuringtheemotionalhealthofherownstudentsatBrattleboroAreaMiddleSchool.Studentstherealsohavechal-lengesoftheirowntoovercomebuttheyknowMs.T.isalwaysthereforthem.Imlikeabadpenny.Imeverywhere.Iminthecafeteria.Iminthehallways.Imintheclassroom.Imakesuretogototheirdancestooshesays.Recentlywhenaneighthgradercommittedsuicideshewasabletouseherskillsandknowledgetohelpherstudentsthroughtheemotionalcrisis.Christiealongwithtwoschoolcounselorsoperatedthreecrisisroomswherestudentswereallowedtocometogrieveandadjusttothelossoftheirfriend.Wewantedtobeavailabletostudentstositdownandtalktothemorjustlisteninasupportiveway.Itwasalsoimportantforustoletthestudentsknowaboutthepermanenceofwhattheirfrienddid.Thathedidntneedtohavemadethatchoice.WeknewafewofthekidswereemotionallyvulnerableandwewereespeciallyconcernedaboutthemChristiesaid.Christieregularlyputsherprofessionalexpertiseandknowledgetoworkbutsheknowsthatsometimeskidsjustneedsomeonetolistenandpayattentiontothem.Somekidswillseemeandjustwantahug.IhavetotellyouthatsometimesIneedthathugasmuchastheydo.BreakfastintheClassroomandontheBusEverystudentshouldstarttheirdaywithbreak-fast.Ifbreakfastisntservedinyourschoolorisonlyservedinthecafeteriatalkwithyourschoolnutritiondirectorandschooladministratorsaboutstartingaprogram.Manyhungrystudentsmaynotreceivetheirbreakfastduetoaninabilitytogettoschoolearlypressuretogodirectlytotheclassroomuponarrivalatschoolandastigmathatonlylow-incomestudentsgotothecafeteriaforbreakfast.Forbreakfastonthebusbreakfastishandedoutinbrownbagstyletostudentsastheystepontothebus.Studentseatbreakfastduringthetimespentridingtoschoolavoidinguseoftheinstructionalday.Breakfastsareconvenienthand-heldandcanbeenjoyedbeforearrivingatschool.Trashdisposaliseitherlocatedonthebusoratdropo.Tomaketheseprogramssuccessfulyoumustinvolveallaectedemployeesinplanningtheprogrambeforeitisrolledout.WorkingwithcustodialandfoodservicestaisparticularlyimportanttodevelopaplanforkitchenoperationsandpropercleanupandsanitationAdditionalResourcesBreakfastintheClassroomBICProgramBICResourceCenterandBreakfastontheBus.