Farm Hands is a program aimed at giving young learners the opportunity to learn outdoors, gain confidence as they explore and develop an appreciation for hard work and the nature around them. Learning outdoors and experiencing their new knowledge, engages a learner's senses, stimulates their creativity, and puts their problem-solving skills at the forefront.
Team of Teachers
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
Meet the teachers of Farm Hands
jessica de Vera WElls
Jessica de Vera Wells is a local farmer and certified teacher. She grew up on her family's farm in Aquebogue, Wells Homestead Acres, and spent many hours outside planting, harvesting, packing and selling our produce. Farming life quickly teaches that failures are expected and risks are necessary, but the payoff of hard work is an irreplaceable reward. And being a co-pilot on the tractors as a young kid wasn't too bad either.
With a degree in Horticulture from Cornell University and a Masters of Education from Hunter College, Jessica went on to teach preschool, elementary school, and middle school ages in NYC for 16 years. Bridging both passions together has brought about Farm Hands. A strong desire to bring young learners closer to their natural world while fostering their sense of wonder is the drive behind the teaching of the Farm Hands program. Teaching young students of all abilities and interests and seeing their growth before your eyes is priceless.
Lorraine Link has been working with kids for 30 years on the North Fork. She lives in Jamesport and enjoys all outdoor activities. Lorraine comes from a family of educators and has worked in a local preschool for 25+ years and also has worked with special needs children and adults for the past 10 years. She has a passion for working with all children to help them learn with their inquiring minds, develop their curiosity and try new things. Lorraine looks forward to fostering young minds through exploration in the Farm Hands program.
Keri Shields is a mother of two, who loves to explore all the North Forkhas to offer. After working in marketing and advertising for over thirteen years for companies such as Better Homes and Gardens, Google and BabyCenter, she took time to raise her son and daughter. During that time, she realized her passion of teaching young children. She especially enjoys science, environmental conservation and learning about natural habitats. She has a degree in Business Administrationand is currently looking to pursue a second career in Early ChildhoodEducation. In her free time, you will find her and her family exploring local beaches or hiking many of the North Fork trails and wildlife refuges.
Danielle Hendrickson is a book lover, adventure seeker and kid at heart. She is a certifiedelementary school teacher who has worked in a variety of creative jobs, including Simon & Schuster children’s publishing, Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts, and Times-Review MediaGroup. Most recently she worked for the Town of Riverhead Parks and Recreation Department as the Cultural Affairs Supervisor, a position which allowed her to create community events, trips and classes for children and adults. She is a mother of two who believes the best teachers are lifelong learners as well. She brings a sense of curiosity to everything she does, whether it’s traveling to new places or discovering the wonders of nature, and is thrilled to be a part of the Farm Hands team.
Kristin Fox grew up in the beautiful north fork area. As a child she enjoyed endless beach days with her family, strawberry picking, and picking up fresh seasonal produce from local farm stands. She attended college in New York City where she graduated with a BFA in Merchandising Management and worked as a home furnishings buyer for major companies such as Anthropologie, West Elm, and Macy’s.com. She missed her roots out east and moved back to the North Fork along with her husband. She took time off from work to raise her two daughters and explore all the natural wonder our area has to offer. Kristin is a nature lover and in her spare time creates art and prints utilizing flowers, leaves, and mushrooms. She also loves to explore and travel with her family up north to the mountains where they hike beautiful trails and have impromptu yoga sessions. Kristin loves working with children and is looking forward to sharing her appreciation of the natural world with Farm Hands this year!
Sophia is a long-time educator with upper elementary classroom experience. More recently she has specialised delivering early intervention in education, behavior and emotional support. She understands that there is more to education than what we can find in a classroom though and is now certified as a Level 3 Forest School Leader. She is a native Long Islander who recently moved back from living in Ireland, and although she misses hiking the mountains and green pastures, there’s no place like home.