The Energizer bunny has nothing on the second grade students at P.S. 170 and P.S. 102, a group of which rode one of the new ferries they helped name on Wednesday morning, June 21.
Riding the ferry — dubbed “The Lunchbox” by second graders at 170 — were students that designated it, as well as three other boats: “McShiny,” “The Friendship Express” and “The Owl’s Head.”
“Today makes me so happy,” said student Kemal Cater. “Finally, I’ve won a contest that my brother hasn’t.”
Cater is part of the class that named “The Owl’s Head.” According to students Izabella Powell, Panayiotis Georgiatis and Elias Achki, that ship was named because for its history and the fact that the new South Brooklyn ferry route can be seen trucking along from Owl’s Head Park.
All three children took turns finishing each other’s sentences and flying up the stairs of the ship to see the view. They also made clear their preference for being on the ferry rather than in class, especially since it was such “a really sunny and not cloudy day to look at things.”
“I like going up and down the stairs and seeing it from different views,” noted second grade student Grace Flynn. “That’s my favorite part.”
“I think there are too many waves,” said Edward Travers. “I like bumping, but not this much.”
The 30-minute ride took a lap in the direction of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline, only to circle back toward DUMBO and return to Bay Ridge, during which at least 20 of the students admitted that the ride was their first time on a boat.
“They will never forget this experience, but I credit all the success to my teachers,” said Principal Tony Wu of P.S. 170. “We have a very dedicated staff and they weren’t mandated to do this.”
According to New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Public Affairs Officer Stephanie Baez, their excursion was just the first. In the next three to four days, NYC Ferry is expected to offer a similar experience to every winning class of students that helped name a boat.
“It’s inspiring seeing the future of New York having such an integral role in our transportation system,” said Baez.
“I am so proud of them right now. I think this has been such an experience, and we’ve talked a lot about how many people are actually riding the boat,” said educator Michelle Goh, the teacher whose class — Class 201 at P.S. 170 — came up with “The Lunchbox,” the first official fleet to be named by students. “My favorite part of today is seeing them comfort each other. We had some kids that were crying or scared, and other kids just came up and hugged them.”
For NYC Ferry employee Roberto Delgato, this experience reminded him of his first ride on the Staten Island Ferry. “I didn’t understand the concept at first,” he said, “but I love to see everybody having a good time.”
“If we could paint the boat,” noted Chloe Vazzana of the class that named their boat “The Owl’s Head.” “I would put all different size and color owls on it.”
Following the ride, each child received an official lunchbox and a ton of goodies to put inside.
“I already miss the part where we started and it was wriggly,” said Roy Zhang.