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Ridge kids get presidential for Holy Angels’ annual ‘Presidents Day’ • Brooklyn Paper

Ridge kids get presidential for Holy Angels’ annual ‘Presidents Day’

Addressing the crowd: President Abraham Lincoln, played by eighth-grader Joshua Coohill, recited his famous Gettysburg Address during an early President’s Day event at Holy Angels Academy in Bay Ridge on Feb. 1.
Photo by Taylor Balkom

They’re like, really smart!

A crop of Ridge eighth graders at Holy Angels Catholic Academy donned wigs, suits, and modern-day presidential attitudes for the school’s fifth-annual Presidents Day on Feb. 1, when the youngsters dressed up to portray the men who have presided over the nation from the Oval Office. The event is the culmination of five months of studying for the young scholars, during which time they’re expected to become experts on their assigned presidents, according to the Social Studies teacher who coordinates the event.

“They become really invested in the person that they’re portraying,” said Russell Berry.

Berry assigned each student a president and a book about him back in September, and on the Presidents Day, the kids presented slide shows about their president, answered questions from younger students, and signed autographs in character. They also delivered actual speeches from their subjects to an auditorium full of their classmates — and one student even donned a comb-over wig to present President Trump’s inaugural address, according to Berry.

Other students dressed up as former presidents Barack Obama, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, according to Berry.

And seven lucky seventh graders donned sunglasses, fake ear pieces, and suits as “Secret Service agents” who trailed the presidents around the building. Two of them took the job to heart, tackling someone who tried to approach “Kennedy” and escorting him out of the building, Berry said.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
State of the Union: Presidents Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington — played by Holy Angels Academy eighth-graders Matthew Cassamassino, Cecilia Catania, and Morgan Thurlow, respectively — discuss the issues facing America.
Photo by Taylor Balkom

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