BY HEATHER J. CHIN AND MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK
Brooklyn students welcomed the start of another school year on September 9, with kindergarteners on up through middle schoolers trooping through the doors, armed with superhero lunchboxes and backpacks, sleek sneakers, colorful hair-ribbons and a lot of energy.
At P.S. 222 in Marine Park, students walked hand-in-hand with their parents and/or their friends, winding their way through parked school buses and crowds of eager families posing for first-day photos.
“He’s very excited to meet new friends, learn new things, and have a new experience,” said mom Regina Kelly as her four-year-old son James clung to her leg before his first day of kindergarten. “It’s going to be a learning experience for both of us.”
For second graders Daniella Agayeva and Luca Marianova, a big part of school is the chance to see each other—best friends—again.
“They’ve been together since pre-school and when they weren’t attending birthday parties [this summer], they were Skyping each other from home and from Russia,” chuckled their moms, Irina and Marie as the two gave one another a huge hug.
For many students, going back to school also means introducing younger siblings to big-kid school.
“Make good choices and take care of your sister,” reminded fifth grader Thomas’s mother as she hugged him and his sister Emily, a first grader, goodbye.
“He’s a monitor this year and he’s excited,” she said proudly. “It’s all part of the learning process.”
At Bay Ridge’s P.S./I.S. 30, the new school year also meant the first day in a brand new school building at Fourth and Ovington Avenues.
“So far so good,” said Greg Masarky of the New York City School Construction Authority as he watched in anticipation on opening day. “It’s been three years we’ve been working on this school and people are really happy about the outcome – parents and children.”
The school, located on the former site of the century-old Bay Ridge United Methodist Church that was demolished in 2008 by the congregation in preparation for housing that wasn’t built, has been four years in the making and was highly anticipated by I.S. 30 students who had been housed in a small apartment building across the street.
Now, there are brand new classrooms, a schoolyard, an auditorium and a gymnasium.
“We’re excited,” said Carlos Carrion as he saw off his daughter Lourdes beginning her seventh grade career and making the transition from her previous experience at the old I.S. 30.
Former P.S. 180 teacher Bob Prince said that everyone is “very, very excited,” as he welcomed students. “I love the building and, you know, I love kids too so this is just a great thing. We’re all very much looking forward to the new school.”