Cooke: Moving in the Right Direction!

Getting Creative with Cooke Internships

Cooke’s internship program is a vital part of our programming and an incredible tool for teaching everything from banking (to deposit those paychecks) to using public transportation (to get to a job on time). So when businesses paused, reduced or restructured, Cooke faculty and staff had to get creative to make sure all students would have the opportunity to explore their vocational interests and learn new work skills through an internship.

In addition to adding new internship partners such as My Happy Tummy Club (culinary) and Gigi’s Playhouse (childcare), the vocational services team designed a new space that recreates the internship experience onsite. Cooke Transitions created a unique job warehouse space. A little more than a third of Transitions students have internships onsite at the new job warehouse. Others work with partners such as Levain Bakery, FLY Center, Barry’s Bootcamp and CVS (to name a few).

The job warehouse is a space that recreates and simulates retail, animal care, maintenance and clerical job tasks as part of a student’s internship. Everything from shelving clothing and handling exchanges/returns (retail) to maintaining fish tanks (animal care) takes place in the warehouse. This new communal space is devoted to helping students explore work and serves as a wonderfully creative complement to our internship host sites.

Click video clip below to see more:

HSBC Mentorship Series

In year two of our wonderful partnership with HSBC, four returning HSBC employees lent their time and talents during an 8-week mentorship series on career exploration. The HSBC mentors, who work in taxation, capital management and product control, worked as a group and in 1:1 sessions to help Cooke students identify, research and explore potential career opportunities and interests.

The first step was to help students explore their interests and then connect those interests to different types of work. Students took a picture-based career interest inventory called PICS to figure out how their potential job aspirations and interests align with categories such as “artistic,” “enterprising,” or “social.” They then used an online interest profiler tool to identify and research jobs that fit their particular interest profile.

In examining jobs and discussing them with their mentors, students discussed job tasks, educational requirements and what they might or might not like about a particular job. HSBC mentors worked through all stages of research with the students, even providing 1:1 assistance during the presentation preparation.

Celebrating Black History Month:
The Recap

As we reflect fondly on the ways in which we, as a community, celebrated Black History month, in the past weeks, many of our lessons have incorporated the rich history, culture and contributions of African Americans. Though we are ever aware that Black history is American history and isn’t only to be celebrated during one month, we took the opportunity to emphasize lessons and literature that highlight the accomplishments and struggles of many noteworthy black Americans. 

In the Upper School, our literary journeys led us to read the book “Carter Reads The Newspaper.” This book is about Carter Woodson, the historian who founded Black History Month. Carter’s story is significant; the child of poor sharecroppers, he was able to read the newspaper and learn about the world around him. He spent his life working to educate others about black history and the impact of black culture on American society. 

Students also learned about Ida B. Wells, Ethel L. Payne, and many others. Teachers incorporated Black history studies into many lessons, and encouraged students to share their feelings and thoughts as they connected to these stories. 

In Transitions, students explored the work of Black artists, looking at how illustrations and art highlight social justice themes. In Math, they looked at famous Black scientists and mathematicians, including the real-life individuals in the movie, Hidden Figures, which students watched to learn about the prominence of Black women in the space race. 

In Humanities, students learned about different pride movements and how they foster a celebration of culture and differences. Along the way, they highlighted songs such as “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” by James Brown. 

A wide selection of titles originating from the African diaspora and the Black American experience were included in our virtual library, many of which we will continue to read throughout the year. Check out some of the books – you are sure to find something that interests you! 

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