Return to Headlines

Hornet Helping Hands Expands to Beatrice Gilmore in Third Year

Valley Echo banner

Lulu Mubarak '20
9 March 2020


Hornet Helping Hands interns at Little Falls School No. 2; photo credit: Rae Allex Since 2016, senior have been placed as interns at Little Falls School No. 2 to explore a career in early childhood education, an opportunity offered through the Hornet Helping Hands Program. This year, the program has expanded, sending interns to Beatrice Gilmore in Woodland Park as well. Both schools praise interns Mia Preziosi, Francesca Inzone, Taylor Capers, Natalie Garafalo, Vianna Giordano, Juliet LaRiccia, Gianna Leach, and Nicole Spratt for the hard work they do.

At these elementary schools, interns initially help students get started by helping them off their buses and into their classrooms, where attendance is taken. Teachers are often open to interns creating their own lesson plans as well as supporting daily routines and instruction.

“We help them unpack, tie their shoes, and even get to play with them during their gym class,” said Gianna Leach, explaining the interns’ responsibilities. “We are always there and ready to help when the teacher needs it. The kids even look up to us as their teachers, that’s how involved we are.” Hornet Helping Hands interns and Dr. Cardillo with Beatrice Gilmore teachers; photo credit: Rae Allex

Interns must turn in monthly literature reviews of children's books for classrooms. From here, Mr. Joseph Auteri, Work Based Learning Experience Coordinator, grades their analysis and gives feedback on how they can improve.

While all students have the opportunity to join Hornet Helping Hands during their senior year, there are some qualifications they must meet.“Students have to have a 3.0 GPA or higher, good attendance, no behavioral issues, and preferably an interest in teaching,” outlined Mr. Auteri.Kindergarten classroom; photo credit: Taylor Capers

Hornet Helping Hands affords seniors the opportunity to understand education and classrooms before they choose to pursue the field in their academic and/or professional careers. Interns will be at an advantage in college due to their experience in the Work Based Learning program. 

“I am genuinely enjoying my experience and am learning a lot from my mentor, Mrs. Rich, and my students,” said Juliet LaRiccia. “I’ve always dreamed of being a teacher and can see myself pursuing it in the future.”

Of course, the program offers so much more to interns than simple experience. “It’s awesome to see different personalities in such young kids and see how much more they develop every day and how they interact with each other,” said Taylor Capers. “This internship has taught me a lot about time management and responsibility.”