Sometimes learning is the last thing on a student's mind.
Children deal with all kinds of distractions... from problems at home, to just feeling different.
But at Boyd Buchanan Elementary one very special counselor helps her students deal with the day to day.
Jennifer Greer is this week's Golden Apple Award winner.
Counselor Jennifer Greer asks, "If we wake up in the morning and it's a beautiful sunshiny day outside, how does that make us feel?"
This lesson to Ms. Shonhoff's 2nd Graders is about more than sunshine... It's about learning how to treat other people...
Greer says, "We talk a lot about the Golden Rule."
For ten years Greer has worked with the little ones at Boyd Buchanan Elementary, "Some kids need to be taught social skills, need to be taught friendship skills and if you ignore that 'little bitty' and it grows and grows that's when all the problems come out."
Five days a week she helps them with social issues, coping with family illness or divorce, or sometimes just reminds them to make friends and be kind.
Ms. Greer says, "Just spreading smiles."
Ms. Greer works with classes and sometimes entire grades, but she also works with kids individually and in small groups... For many having her in the school is a blessing.
Boyd Buchanan parent Renée Liang reads from her Golden Apple nomination letter, "As a parent it is important to me to have someone in school that cares for my child's emotional wellbeing as well as I do."
Liang started working with Greer when her son was diagnosed with ADHD... but quickly learned Ms. Greer's lessons help almost every child in school.
Liang says, "They need that person who helps them through the times that they can't talk to their parents."
Those lessons range from teaching kids to be inclusive to helping others through the school's year long service project.
Liang continues, "I see how many lives she changes for the better."
That's exactly what Ms. Greer wants to do.
She hopes to guide these little ones while they're young & help them grow to be better people, "It'll make the world a better place if everybody were concerned about being kind to each other."