Class is in session: Brooklyn kids begin another school year

Class is in session: Brooklyn kids begin another school year
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

It’s back to the books!

Kids were herded out of bed and into classrooms across Brooklyn in the wee hours Thursday morning, continuing a time-honored tradition of all generations — the first day of school. And the thrill of busting out new clothes and supplies for the occasion soon erased any gripes about heading back to class, according to parents.

“She wasn’t jumping for joy, but all kids want to put on their new clothes, shoes, and best hairstyle to make a good impression,” said Faraji Hannah-Jones, father of 7-year-old Najya, a second-grader at Vinegar Hill’s PS 307. “She did all of the above.”

And unlike the scholars before them, this year’s school-age pupils were younger than usual because of the city’s expanded universal pre-kindergarten program, which now serves squirts as young as 3-years-old.

Nearly 800 tykes signed up for the 3-K for All program, which the mayor said will make New York City’s kids some of the country’s sharpest.

“3-K for All will ease the financial burden on parents and give our littlest New Yorkers an invaluable head-start in life,” said Mayor DeBlasio.

Also new this year are fully subsidized lunches for all children, which will feed about 200,000 more students than last year’s free-lunch program and ensure no student is stigmatized for signing-up.

Hannah-Jones, who paid for his daughter’s lunch last year, said he completely supports the city footing the meal’s bill.

“We had to pay for lunch last year, but this year, being that it’s free, of course we’re happy about that.”

Of course, the start of school brings new opportunities to break the rules, and this year is no exception.

A 17-year-old student at Downtown’s City Polytechnic High School was arrested on the first day after school-safety officers discovered an unloaded pistol in the kid’s bag while searching it around 10:30 am, according to police.

The student was arrested on charges of criminal possession of a weapon, cops said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.