Meet Gabrielle Girard

AHEAD: Tell us about yourself.

Gabrielle: I graduated from the College of Wooster in May 2019 with my Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and a minor and Ohio Teaching License in Early Childhood Education (Grades Pre-K through 3). Before working with SPARK and AHEAD, I worked at a before-and-after school program for a couple years, interned at the Shaker Historical Society and Museum in Shaker Heights, and was the lead teacher at a summer camp in Cleveland Heights one summer.

In my free time, I like going to art festivals and community fairs, playing with my two pet bunnies Ripley and Mr. Boogie, and spending time with my family! 

AHEAD: Describe a typical day.

Gabrielle: Most days start off in my office at Franklin Elementary School where I review my schedule for the day and my students’ learning plans. Then, I prepare special activities for each student to help reach their goals. I bring those activities along with my other pre-planned lesson materials to each home I visit. Once everything is prepared and packed into my bag, I visit my students and families scheduled for that day within their homes or at Franklin Elementary School.

AHEAD: What is your favorite part of being a SPARK Parent Partner? 

Gabrielle: I love talking to parents and children about their lives and sharing my own experiences. I also love problem-solving with parents. Parents know their children best and we work together to find solutions to any issues they may be facing at home or at school.

AHEAD: What would you say to a parent who is considering enrolling their child in the SPARK Program?

Gabrielle: When first learning about SPARK, many parents worry about someone teaching and working with their family at home. I completely understand this! I just hope parents know that I am not there to judge them and am incredibly open-minded. For some families, we have determined that an alternative location is best for our meetings, and I am happy to work something like this out! That said, I love meeting a child’s siblings and other family members and involving them in lessons, which is a very special part about meeting within the home. 

I have seen so many students significantly improve their academic and social skills after only a few months of SPARK. By choosing to participate in SPARK alongside regular preschool, you are providing your child with the best foundation to succeed and grow.