Hand Over Hand’s Individualized Educational Program & Homeschool Learning

Founded in 2016, Hand Over Hand LLC is an Educational Services company providing Special Education services for students and their families. Hand Over Hand is a diverse, collaborative community organization dedicated to achieving academic and social-emotional excellence for all children with abilities. We encourage every student to develop a lifelong love of learning. Hand Over Hand LLC provides learning programs directed by Danielle Smerina, a New York State Certified School Building Leader and Childhood Special Education Teacher with over ten years of experience in Special Education. Our learning programs are tailored to meet the needs of students who benefit from individualized support in areas of academic learning, executive functioning, and social interaction at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels.

We have staff members that provide Related Services in the fields of Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Counseling, and that provides Special Education Teacher Support Services. Our Individualized Educational Program is easily accessible for hybrid, virtual, or in-person learning. Our in-person location is located in New York City. Subjects covered include, but are not limited to, reading, math, social studies, science, writing and Social Emotional Learning through our Inquiry Based & Project Based Learning Approach.

What is Hand Over Hand’s Individualized Educational Program?

since 2016

Hand Over Hand’s Individualized Educational Program is the only educational service company that individualizes students’ learning, fosters Inquiry-based learning, STEAM-based learning, and Project-Based Learning—while also building students’ social skills through teamwork.

Hand Over Hand’s Individualized Educational Program is widely considered a successful way for each student to achieve their unique goals and build the foundation for long-term success and life skills by using an Inquiry-Based Learning Approach. We emphasize the development of problem solving, literacy, civic, social, and technological strategies necessary for students to contribute to their local and global communities.

We are certain that by adding our unmatched Hand Over Hand Individualized Learning Program and interaction with 21st Century real-world issues, our students will be well prepared for their futures, including college, careers, and long-term success.

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Cara, Mother

“In 2020 we switched to virtual learning with Hand Over Hand & it has been so amazing! Our 4-year-old is learning new vocabulary and pragmatic skills. My husband and I are so happy to see her social skills blossoming & her excitement to learn from home.”


Attention Span & Focus

  • Learn to focus effectively
  • Experienced in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Teaching Listening strategies to allow a child to maintain attention
  • Providing sensory feedback strategies to improve attention


Literacy/Reading & Academic Skills

  • Sounding out words in order to spell unknown words
  • Spelling age-appropriate words
  • Age-appropriate phonics skills
  • Becoming a fluent rader
  • Solving grade level and advanced math word problems


Executive Function

  • Organizing their thoughts in order to complete a school work assignment
  • Improving short and long term memory
  • Controlling emotions/impulse control
  • Starting a task and completing it


Social Communication

  • Working collaboratively with others during play
  • Understanding and appropriately responding to changes in body language
  • Telling stories and answering questions
  • Rephrasing when others do not understand the message
Danielle Smerina

Danielle Smerina

Teacher and School Building Leader

Danielle’s professional journey started at Brooklyn College, CUNY, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, Speech and Hearing Sciences. After college, she completed a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Building Leadership from The College of St. Rose/CITE.

Esther Heinberg

Esther Heinberg

Occupational Therapist

Esther completed her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Touro College School of Health Sciences in Manhattan, New York, in 2014.
Marie Bennett

Marie Bennett

Special Education Teacher

Marie earned her Master of Education Degree from Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY). She spent 27 of her 30-year career working as a Special Education Teacher. She was also a member of the School Based Support Team as the IEP Teacher, as well as the Special Education Liaison of District meetings.

Jeanine Zaccone

Jeanine Zaccone


Jeanine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University. From there, she earned a Master of Science Degree in Education at Fordham University Graduate School.