Wyomissing, PA

Wyomissing PTA Family Fun Run

College Counseling Services of Pennsylvania understands and values the importance of education.  We are proud to have the ability to support some very worthy causes in our community through corporate sponsorship.  We thank those who tirelessly volunteer their time to make these fundraising events a success!

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Township of Spring Golf Tournament

College Counseling Services of Pennsylvania understands and values the importance of community.  We are proud to have the ability to support some very worthy causes in our community through corporate sponsorship.  We thank those who tirelessly volunteer their time to make these fundraising events a success!

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Group Sessions

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Cover Post

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Summer before your freshman year- What you should have done.

I wish I would have…….

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Okay guys! It’s the summer before your freshman year. Its agonizingly long because you can’t wait to head off to college, it’s also painfully short because you know that  this is the last summer of your childhood. The hours are slow but the weeks are fast and before you know it you are trying to fit everything you own into one car, parting ways with some of your closest friends and starting a new and exciting chapter of your life.  So, what’s on your summer after high school bucket list? What are your “Must Do’s” before leaving home (possibly for good)?

I’m going to throw this question out there to those who have just gone through it-

College Students-

What do you wish you would have done during the summer before your freshman year? These incoming freshmen need all the help they can get- let’s make sure they arrive on campus with no regrets!0523l

We’ll pick a few of our favorite comments and message you to send you a gift card of your choosing!

 

 

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New Website

Check out our new website: www.collegeplannerforyou.com

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SAT Tips for Parents: What you must do to prepare your kids for test day!

Three tips for parents to help boost their child’s SAT score

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The last few weeks before the SAT exam are often some of the most stressful for students. It’s during this time that I begin to get a lot of phone calls and texts from parents trying to get their child some last-minute tutoring on the exam.  Don’t get me wrong, some help, even last minute help, is better than no help at all. It’s great that parents want to help their child boost their score. In fact, nine out of ten times I get the same question from a parent, “I know this is last-minute, but is there anything that we as parents can do to help (insert child’s name here) to prepare for the exam?”
Actually, there are a few things that parents can do! Here are three suggestions to help your child reduce stress and boost their SAT score.
1. Sleep – Numerous studies have shown that when we get more sleep we perform better.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if your child is well-rested, he/she will be more prepared for the exam.  Typically,  adolescents need between eight and nine hours of sleep each night. Ideally this would be great, but sadly, most teens don’t even come close to this much time sleeping.
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To make up for the lack of sleep, many students tell me that they are going to go to bed at 8 PM the night before the exam. I usually ask, “When is your normal bedtime?” If their answer isn’t within 30 minutes of 8 PM I tell them, “Why bother?”
In order for your body to adapt to a new schedule/rhythm, it takes about 7-10 days.
So, parents, what can you do to help?
Starting about two weeks before the exam, children should go to sleep a bit earlier.  How much earlier? I would start small, say 15 to 20 minutes earlier the first couple of nights. Then they should begin to work their way up to 30 minutes or so the last week of the exam. By the time the exam rolls around, they will have gained several hours of more sleep.  By the way, when I say sleep, I mean sleep. That does not mean laying in bed staring at a phone or tablet for an hour or so.
2.  Homework/projects/tests – So often, I hear students complaining that they have a major project or test due the Monday after the exam. Furthermore, they tell me that  they haven’t even started studying for the upcoming test or haven’t even looked at the project. Now they begin to worry about school work and become distracted thus losing focus on the exam.
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 So, parents, what can you do to help?
Simple, help your child plan out their work ahead of time. If they know that they will have a test or project due early next week, you could help them begin to tackle the work well in advance of the exam. Knocking out large parts of a project or looking over the material for an upcoming exam will lower stress and help them focus on the task at hand -– the SAT exam! Besides, now they have completed the work that they had to do anyway. It’s a win-win.
3.  Supplies – the night before the exam all of the test-taking supplies (printed test ticket number two pencils, calculator, etc.) should be ready to go. A complete list of what to bring (and not to bring) can be found at https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/taking-the-test/test-day-checklist  Please, never assume anything. I once had a student tell me that his high school allowed students to sign out graphing calculators the day before the exam. Everything was great until he tried turning on the calculator–dead batteries. Never, assume anything.
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So, parents, what can you do to help?
Before your child goes to bed on Friday night make sure all of the College Board checklist items are in the same place.  That way they can just pick up and go.
These tips seem small, but they can really go a long way in reducing your child’s stress levels.  Remember, SAT day should be all about lowering stress.  Although these tips seem small, they can really go a long way to help lower anxiety and boost confidence.
Look for my upcoming post on stress-reducing tips on the day of the exam. Good luck!
Lou Blair is a high school social studies teacher and a private SAT tutor. He has been teaching & tutoring for twenty years. 

 
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Planning for Life After High School

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With graduation only a few weeks away I’m starting to say goodbye to the seniors in each of my classes. Invariably, talk turns to college and future plans. I have noticed over the years that when it comes to students’ telling me about their future plans they usually fall into two categories:  The students who have a game plan and are moving forward putting that plan into action or the students who don’t seem to have a clue about their futures. 

It’s a scary thought to have to make such big career decisions so early in life. Think about it, the decisions you make from ages 15-18 can affect the rest of your entire life. So often I hear many of my students say, “what if I make the wrong decision?”

Here are a few things that students can do to help ensure the decision they make is the right one.  Ask yourself:suit_businessman

1.  What are your goals?  For example, is making lots of money your goal?  If so, something like social work may not be the occupation for you. Don’t get me wrong, social work is a great job with many intrinsic rewards, but it is a profession that usually does not pay very well.  By figuring out what you want (money, flexible hours, being your own boss, etc.) you can to begin heading in the right direction.
2.  What are you good at doing?  That is, what are your natural talents?  For example, I love talking with people.  I can start a conversation with just about anyone. However, if you were to put me in a cubicle in front of a computer all day, I think I would have a breakdown.  So, it seems, the office life is not for me. 1YE1LLNXGB
Here’s another example about my skill set. I can’t draw–at all. So I hate to say it, but a career as an artist is probably not for me.
3.  What do you like to do?  Think about the things you like to do. I know, I know, it sounds silly. But if you think about it, shouldn’t your career be something you like doing?  It sounds so simple, but so many people are unhappy with their jobs.  Make a list of all of the things you like to do and cross reference it with the things that you are good at doing. Where you find the overlap is where you should begin your search.
Of course if you’re really not sure, you could always take an interest inventory to get started.  There are dozens of online interest inventories. One inventory I have suggested before is the O*net interest inventory at  https://www.onetonline.org/  Take your time & be honest with yourself. Only you really know the answers to the questions about your future. Good luck!
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Lou Blair is a high school social studies teacher and a private SAT tutor. He has been teaching & tutoring for twenty years. 

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