Educators help students address their mental health with new Counseling Café

The café at I.S. 206B in the Bronx has a makeup station, a foosball table and brings a splash of color to the students’ days.

Elly Morillo and Adolfo Carrion

Jan 20, 2024, 1:28 AM

Updated 125 days ago

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Lunch time is an important time from students to get away from the books – and one Bronx school is helping those students also decompress and address their mental health.  
The Counseling Café at I.S. 206B is changing the game for lunch time for the students. Two years ago, school social worker Ms. Abdullah and guidance counselor Ms. Fiordaliza Connell came to the conclusion that working through emotions and developing cooperation skills can still be done in a fun space for kids.  
“During their lunch period, instead of being in our office, we set up shop here and we spend time with them,” said Connell. “We teach them how to communicate, how to socialize appropriately. It's more like a social emotional lap.” 
The café has a makeup station, foosball table and brings a splash of color to the students’ days.  
Educators have begun to bring that same energy to the classrooms – a technique that students say they appreciate.  
“Some of the people here, it feels like I have a connection with them,” said one student.  


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