From left, Nicole Gigante and Michelle Chiarulli are the newest additions to the Riverhead guidance department and have been working in elementary buildings throughout the district as an additional resource for students K-6. Photo courtesy of Riverhead Central School District

The Riverhead school district now has an elementary guidance program. The program provides additional counselors to support students in kindergarten through sixth grade in elementary school buildings throughout the district.

Elementary guidance counselors Michelle Chiarulli and Nicole Gigante help students in classroom lessons and individual meetings, focus on a whole-child approach to ensure students excel academically, socially and behaviorally and prepare them to transition to middle school.

“We are greatly indebted to both Superintendent of Schools Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore, as well as the Riverhead Central School District Board of Education for the approval and hiring of two new full-time school counselors in order to launch our elementary guidance program,” Director of School Counseling Charles Gassar said in a district press release announcing the new program. “This is an incredibly worthwhile investment in the future of the district and that of our children. It is sure to bring long-term benefits regarding our students’ emotional well-being and academic preparedness for years to come,” Gassar said.

The newest counselors lead students through social and emotional learning activities and introduce students to college opportunities and career awareness. These activities have the students focus on the ability to identify feelings and develop positive coping skills and strategies to help achieve their highest potential.

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