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RICHLAND ONE EMPLOYEE PROFILE: School Social Worker Krystal Green Helps Students Overcome Challenges

Richland One School Social Worker Krystal GreenSo much can happen in a student’s life in and out of school – they could be dealing with bullying, losing their home or falling behind in their schoolwork. These issues can cause students to go through a lot of emotions they may not know how to handle.

“No student is the same,” said Richland One school social worker Krystal Green. “As a social worker, you have to be flexible because anything can arise in your day.”

Despite the issues students may come to Green with, she always remembers why she decided to become a school social worker.

“Our children really are our future,” she said. “All it takes is one caring adult to make a positive impact in a child’s life.”

Green is originally from Beaufort, but she has lived in Columbia for more than 19 years. From a very young age, Green knew she wanted to help children. Her college undergraduate academic advisor convinced her to become a social worker.

“Social work allows you to work in a variety of different settings and with a diverse group of people,” said Green. “I love helping people. I love learning about people and helping them overcome challenges they may face on a day-to-day basis.”

In 2005, Green chose Richland One for her field practicum when she started her masters in social work at the University of South Carolina. Green completed her school social work field experience at Burton-Pack Elementary School and Olympia Learning Center.

“The experience I had serving those schools gave me the desire to work in Richland One,” she said.

Green has been working in Richland One for almost six years. She is currently a school social worker for South Kilbourne, Meadowfield and Rosewood elementary schools. She works with 40-50 students a week from all three schools.

One of the biggest challenges Green helps young students overcome is anger. She says students ask her for help when they’re angry.

“I help teach them those emotional regulation skills to help them be successful not only in the classroom, but at home and in the community as well,” said Green.

Green reads to a kindergarten class at South Kilbourne Elementary every week. The books she reads teach students how to cope with different emotions. During one class, she read a book titled “A Little Spot of Anger,” which teaches kids techniques they can use to deal with anger.

“Techniques like counting and taking a deep breath help students return to calm,” she said.

Green also uses books to work with a group of third-graders at South Kilbourne and a group of fifth-graders at Meadowfield Elementary. In the fifth-grade group, Green teaches the students social-emotional learning skills they need to become successful in life. The third-grade students she works with are those who could fall behind because they’re not reading at their grade level.

“This is just another way to give students extra support and move them forward,” said Green.

She says she wants to be a part of her students’ success. By working at the elementary level, Green says she can lay the foundation and provide the tools needed for students to succeed.

The help she provides doesn’t go unnoticed. Green says her students see her as a second mom because of her nurturing and supportive nature.

“{The students} look for me,” she said. “I’m walking down the hallway and I hear ‘Hey, Ms. Green!’ Just seeing the impact and the smiles on their faces is rewarding.”

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