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Amityville’s Future Teachers Meet With Elementary School Students

Pictured: Amityville Memorial High School’s Future Teachers of Tomorrow recently visited six fifth grade classes at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School.

Photo courtesy of the Amityville Union Free School District

The High School Heroes program, sponsored by Junior Achievement of New York, pairs students from Amityville Memorial High School with elementary school students in the district for lessons on careers, community, financial literacy and government.

This year, Junior Achievement partnered with the Future Teachers of Tomorrow Club. The club’s adviser, Ms. Melissa Roberts, is an alumna of the Amityville School District. This club was designed to inspire and prepare promising students for careers in education. This event is one of the many activities planned for the club which will include mentoring, shadowing and partnering with higher education. Dr. Bridgette Waite, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, has met with the students and is very excited that this program has gotten off the ground. This program aligns with her vision of getting some of Amityville’s students back into the classroom as teachers.

High school students are trained by Junior Achievement and then plan and implement lessons in the classrooms. The Future Teachers of Tomorrow recently visited six fifth grade classes at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School. Guidance counselor Ms. Kim Balducci was responsible for arranging the classroom teachers with the high school students. Ava Tucciaroone, a high school senior, has participated in the program for the past two years.

“I enjoyed working with the children and I’ve considered becoming an art teacher thanks to the program,” Tucciaroone said. “I felt like it was just a terrific experience in every way.”

Junior Khaeil Pryce said he wasn’t sure what career he would pursue before this program. “After working with the children at Park Avenue, I’ve become more interested in a career in education,” Pryce said.

“I was surprised to see how excited the students were to learn and how much they actually wanted to participate,” said junior Kristen Preza.

Many of the high school students who participate are interested in careers in education or childcare, and hope to gain valuable experience that helps them decide if they would like to further pursue those areas.

“I’ve gained more respect for teachers after this experience,” said senior Kenneth Garcia. “I learned that as a teacher, you really have to be flexible and adjust your lesson or have a backup if things don’t go as originally planned.”

“At first, I was nervous about teaching the fifth graders, because I didn’t know what to expect,” said junior Sere Diallo. “I realized that once you actually start the lesson, you get more comfortable. After teaching the class, I realized that it was easier than I thought, and I felt much more confident.”

The high school’s participants interact directly with children in facilitating hands-on activities which engage youngsters in learning about business and economic concepts. The Future Teachers of Tomorrow are preparing to visit Park Avenue again this spring.

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