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It’s back-to-school time for Brooklyn kids • Brooklyn Paper

It’s back-to-school time for Brooklyn kids

No first-day jitters for second-grader Shannon O’Connell, who gives loved ones a cheery wave outside PS 195 in Manhattan Beach.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Brooklyn bustled with a late summer ritual last week, as bright-eyed children across the borough dressed up with somewhere to go — school.

Moms, dads and guardians received top marks for making sure that Junior arrived in fine form and on time, joining 1.1 million students and 77,000 teachers across the city who made sure to do the same.

There were no first-day jitters for adorable 5-year-old Nia Howard of Canarsie, who gave mom Carmy a tight hug outside PS 114 before darting off inside for her first day of kindergarten, her beaded ringlets and red polka-dotted dress sailing behind her.

The little girl’s composure was due to her mom’s wise preparations.

“We walked around the neighborhood a couple of times, so that she could get familiar with the building,” said Howard, a program manager who took the day off so that she could drop off and pick up her daughter on likely one of the most important days in both their lives.

Mom gave her little girl an A-plus for goodwill at the end of the day.

“Nia made a friend, so all is well with the world,” she laughed.

Around town, the familiar sights and sounds abounded with squealing kids proudly showing off their new togs and book bags, and sharing stories of their summer break with pals.

The long, hot summer had also thawed any lingering heebie-jeebies for students relocating to new schools.

Incoming fourth-grader Ethan Funaro, 8, couldn’t wait for his first day at PS 312 in Bergen Beach.

“There’s a music band there and I want to play the trumpet, I’m very excited,” explained the young scholar.

That’s sure to make his mother happy, who joked that she’s “already deaf,” thanks to Ethan’s drummer dad and flute-playing sister.

Budding scholar Nia Howard, 5, gives mom Carmy a great big hug before heading off inside PS 114 in Canarsie for her first day of school.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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