Lorenzo Barrios lined up outside P.S. 234 in Astoria for his first day of school ever. The 4-year-old had been looking forward to starting pre-kindergarten for a long time, excitedly anticipating learning how to read and write his name. Wearing his brand new Elmo backpack, Barrios followed his teacher and classmates into the school, waving goodbye to his mother who watched as her youngest child entered the building.
“I’m excited that he’s starting a new chapter,” said mom Maria Barrios.
Her son starting school marks the first time her home will be empty during the day since becoming a mother. Maria said she didn’t know what to do with herself. Her 8-year-old daughter, Jasmine, also attends P.S. 234.
“I’m ready to do homework with both of them,” Maria said.
Over at Long Island City High School, one of the schools that was slated for a now-failed Turnaround, students lined up to review their course schedules and start their first day of school.
Tenth graders Sohela Elgaramouni and Ouissal Elkharraz were happy to return to the school they knew and loved.
“We’re happy to see all our old teachers and most of the kids are still there,” said Elkharraz. “I don’t feel like a freshman again.”