Dana Benoist, M.Ed.
Griffin School Counselor
Hi Grizzlies! My name is Dana Benoist and I am Griffin's counselor! This is my 8th year in education working with both primary and secondary grades. I graduated from University of Houston with an elementary education degree. Soon after completing one degree, I chose to go back to school to receive my master's degree in school counseling from Houston Baptist University. My passion is ignited when helping and teaching children. Please feel free to contact me anytime. My door is always open!
During the elementary school years, children build knowledge, develop attitudes, and acquire skills necessary to become confident and well-adjusted students. These skills provide the foundation for academic success. School counselors work with students, teachers, parents, and administrators to create a caring school environment that provides developmentally appropriate counseling services to promote academic success.
These services support the social, emotional/personal, academic, and career development of students. This promotes not only school success, but effective interpersonal skills and emotional health through education, prevention, and intervention services. The goal of school counseling is to address minor issues which impact learning while at school.
School counselors provide:
Individual Counseling: Students may request to see the counselor as needed. To contact the counselor, students fill out a counselor request slip (located outside the counselor's office and in teachers' classrooms) and place it in the bear outside the counselor's office. Teachers and parents can also request individual counseling for a student.
Small Group Counseling: Students may be referred to small group counseling by a teacher or parent. Small groups are offered at various times throughout the school year focusing on various topics, such as: friendship and social skills, anger management, test anxiety, assertiveness, divorce, and grief.
Classroom Guidance Lessons: The counselor visits each grade level throughout the year to provide classroom guidance lessons. This provides an opportunity for students to acquire academic, social, and emotional/personal skills while working with their peers. Topics may focus upon the monthly character trait, anti-bullying, friendship, organization, tolerance, self-discipline, and honesty.
Consultation: The counselor often collaborates with parents, teachers, and administrators to provide solution-focused interventions and guidance to promote academic success.
Parent Education Classes: In the fall, the counselor facilitates Becoming a Love and Logic Parent, a 6-week parent training program that provides practical, easy-to-use techniques. Flyers will be posted in the fall announcing the dates.
Core Essentials is a Katy ISD approved character education program that focuses upon a different character trait each month, celebrating each new trait on the first Wednesday by wearing that month's color. Our Grizzlies continue during each month, learning about and practicing the highlighted trait. The program is based upon three main ideas: treat others right, make smart decisions, and maximize your potential. The belief behind the program is it takes an "INWARD attitude to influence OUTWARD behavior." The goal is to help students develop a responsible, respectful, and caring attitude. Be on the lookout at the beginning of each month for a home-connection parent handout with character education ideas you can do at home. Each teacher will nominate a student who exhibits each month's character trait and one student from each grade level will be nominated as the top student exhibiting that month's trait. Each grade level winner will receive a yard sign to be placed in their front yard to celebrate their efforts to making a difference and standing out amongst the rest.
At Griffin, it's important for our students to feel safe and secure. If a student believes they are being bullied or have witnessed a bullying incident, we ask that the student do the following.
1. Immediately report the incident/problem to your classroom teacher or the nearest teacher, counselor, or administrator. Do not wait a long time.
2. State only the facts of the situation. Feelings will be addressed later. It is important to report all the facts now.
3. Remember, you are not a snitch, or tattletale or anything else but a stronger person to report bullying instead of letting it continue.
Helpful Links for Parents
Love and Logic: Parents can find helpful tips and resources for parenting dilemmas.
General Mental Health
Mental Health America of Fort Bend County: A wealth of information regarding local mental health resources.
Understanding and Raising Girls: When Friendship Hurts
Teaching Kids How to Make Friends
Ways to Make Friends with Small, Easy Steps
Bully Free Program-Free Resources: There are lots of great tips for parents about how to recognize bullying behavior, assertiveness tips for victims and bystanders, and cyberbullying information.
Stand Up to Cyber Bullying
Worry and Anxiety
Anxiety and Perfectionism in Kids: Tips for Parents
Easing Separation Anxiety in Children
Anxiety in Children: How Parents Can Help
Helping Kids Handle Worry
Overcoming Test Anxiety
TV That's Good For Girls
Preparing Your Child for a Move
Bo's Place: A local grief resource center that provides grief support groups.
Compassionate Friends: Katy Chapter: The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive. The Compassionate Friends is a national nonprofit, self-help support organization that offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. There is no religious affiliation and there are no membership dues or fees.
Grief Share-Second Baptist Church West Campus: Contact Gayle McKinney: (713) 365-6095 Ext 6087 Offers a community of encouragement for those who have lost a loved one. Support Group Meetings: Every Thursday at 6:30PM in Room K-318 (check the website for cancelled meetings) Where: Second Baptist Church, 19449 Katy Freeway, Katy, TX 77094 (Main Number: 713-465-3408)