.

STEP Interns Help First-Graders at Bolingbrook School

The partnership began last fall.

STEP intern Jessika Cannon works with Oak View 1st graders Bianca Hicks, Dahlys Mitchell and Joshua Shanahan during one of her twice a week visits to the Bolingbrook elementary school. Credit: VVSD
STEP intern Jessika Cannon works with Oak View 1st graders Bianca Hicks, Dahlys Mitchell and Joshua Shanahan during one of her twice a week visits to the Bolingbrook elementary school. Credit: VVSD
Submitted by Valley View School District:

From all accounts, a new internship program at Oak View Elementary School involving three students from Valley View School District’s Secondary Transition Experience Program (STEP) is a huge success.

“It has been awesome,” said Assistant Principal Eugenia Harvatt. “We’ve developed a great relationship.”

The partnership began last fall when Jessika Cannon began working twice a week for four hours each day as a teacher’s assistant in Leslie Kressin’s 1st grade classroom.

“When I walked into her classroom, I was nervous and excited. I didn’t know what to expect,” Jessika said. “I found working with children was fun.”

“She was ready to jump right in and help with whatever was needed,” Kressin said. “She’s an asset to our classroom environment. The students love working with her and look up to her. She’s a great role model; she always has a smile on her face and brings positive energy into our classroom.”

Jessika mostly assists in literacy centers, according to Kressin. She quizzes students on sight words, she helps students find the correct answers to questions posed during non-fiction reading centers, she helps keep students on task and she handles filing, grading papers and decorating the classroom and hallways.

In fact, Jessika’s internship worked out so well that Oak View requested two more STEP interns, Arianna Owens who works in Brittany Hauppa’s room and Brendan Whalen who works in Robin Pyrcik’s room.

Hauppa calls Arianna “a great asset to our class” and a “huge help” because “she is very kind, patient and eager to work with the first graders.”

Without Brendan, Pyrcik says, her classroom “would not be the same,” adding “the children love him and look forward to his interactions in their morning routines.”

“It’s a huge self-esteem builder for our kids and self-esteem works wonders,” said Blain Duesing, Transition Specialist for STEP. “They especially learn about reliability because they have to be there every Monday and Wednesday. I don’t think any of them have missed a day since they started and they’ve never been late.”

“I’m very proud to be valuable to the school’s environment,” Jessika said, adding a little advice for others who may want to become a teacher’s assistant: “A positive attitude, teamwork, smiling and communication are the most important keys.”

The VVSD STEP program is designed to help eligible young adults in Bolingbrook and Romeoville learn vocational and life skills.

 

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something