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Ridgites flock to the first day of school! • Brooklyn Paper

Ridgites flock to the first day of school!

Back to school: Alondra Garcia started her first day of fifth grade at PS 102 accompanied by her parents, Marisol and Jose.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

It was back to school day in Bay Ridge!

Students flocked to PS 102 for a first day of school on 72nd Street between Ridge Boulevard and Third Avenue on Thursday. Many of the students, ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade, were excited to get back into the swing of things, one parent said.

“The kids were excited to go to school,” said Sabrina Hannachi, who said her daughter, Alessia, was excited to start her first day of second grade.

Hannachi said her daughter was particularly looking forward to showing off her new “Moana”-themed backpack and Joanna Swita lunchbox, which she picked out for the first day.

For other students, their excitement was tinged with a bit of nervousness. One parent said her daughter was anxious about confronting the unknown.

“She was a little bit excited, but I think a little bit more anxious because of the not knowing where her room is and who the teacher is,” said Nedaa Dari of her daughter Liyana, who was also entering the second grade.

But Dari also said her daughter was put at ease by knowing other students in her class.

“She felt comfortable because it was the same set of students that were in her first grade class,” she said.

This year’s first day of school in New York City came a day after the city announced its universal free lunch program, which will supplement the city’s existing free breakfast program. About 75 percent of city public school students qualified for the previous, means-tested free lunches, according to officials.

Hannachi said that her children, who sometimes eat school lunches and sometimes prefer bringing lunch from home, were excited about the rollout of the new program.

“For me, I like it, and my kids like it too,” she said. “They were so excited.”

Kindergarten students only stopped in for three hours in the morning, and other students stayed for a full day. Kindergarten students and parents also attended a brief morning welcome reception where refreshments were served.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
A fresh start: Second-grader Liyana Dari was excited to start the first day of school at PS 102 with her new lunchbox and backpack.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

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