Intern Spotlight: Hope M.

Name: Hope McCormack
Hometown: Branford, CT
College and Major: Western Connecticut State University, Elementary Education
Tutoring Site: Dixwell, Bristol
Clubs: Math II, Arts and Crafts Club
Favorite Childhood Books: The Giving Tree, By: Shel Silverstein

I knew that I wanted to work with kids over the summer, so I started looking for jobs that involve working with kids. I had heard about New Haven Reads from a friend of mine, and thought this would be the perfect job for me. I applied for the job, and handed in my resume and letter. I awaited the response and when I finally I got the call that I got the job, I was was so excited! I knew that this would give me more experience in my field, and make up for lost time due to Covid

I am currently working with New Haven Reads this summer at the Bristol and Dixwell locations. I am a tutor and I run Math II and Arts and Crafts Club. I am learning how to format lesson plans, and adhere to my students individual needs. I have noticed that some students need more challenging problems in my Math II club than other kids. I adapt my lesson plans to accommodate the students individual needs. Breakout rooms have been very helpful for accommodating my students. I am able to work with one group of kids in one room, and another group of kids in another room. Being able to work with groups individually is very helpful for adhering to everyone’s needs. In my math club I have been doing multiplication and division practice with the kids. I decided to incorporate some other activities involving fractions, arrays, measurements, and money into our activities in order to engage my students. When teaching the students in my math club, the best feeling is when I explain something, and I see the “aha moments.” The students really enjoy using Prodigy. They also very much enjoy playing math Kahoot games as well! In my arts and crafts club we create fun and engaging activities for the kids to participate in. So far we have done slime, bowl knitting, paper plate faces, painting, and drawing. The best moments in arts and crafts club are seeing the students engaged and having fun with the activities we plan for them. One highlight from arts and crafts was when the kids were excited to paint the sea shells I collected for them! My tutoring experience with New Haven Reads has been amazing. Knowing that you are making an impact, and helping the kids improve in their skills is the best feeling!

For the short time I have worked at New Haven Reads, I noticed how friendly, supportive, and caring the staff is! Whenever I need help with my clubs or with tutoring, I am not afraid to ask because I feel that I am in a safe, supportive, and loving environment! I am sure that this is how the kids feel when they come in for clubs and tutoring as well! The kids have a loving, supportive environment to come into where they don’t have to be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help. Everyone is here to help!

I am so grateful that I was able to work with New Haven Reads this summer! Thank you to the First Niagara Foundation in partnership with KeyBank for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in these children’s lives, and for giving me an opportunity to practice my future field!