PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An exciting start to the new school year at Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5 on the North Side. About a hundred kindergartners were greeted with signs, bubbles, and a lot of smiles.
“We are rallying the troops in the community to just welcome those kindergartners to their very first day of school,” said Shauna McMillan with United Way.
“I think its very good for the kids, you know, this is what they need to get them motivated, you know out with their friends and learning their new teachers and its good to have something like this for them,” said mother Krisha Hampton.
More then 300 volunteers lined up outside 16 Pittsburgh Public Schools to cheer on little ones just beginning their academic careers. The kick-off parties, hosted by Pittsburgh Public Schools and United Way, have become a tradition in the district.
Although the kids have fun, the mission is also to start them off on the right path.
“We have found that over the years if a student starts off strong with attendance in kindergarten, that habit carries over through the rest of their years, so this is a really big deal to make sure the kindergartners feel supported,” McMillan said.
“I think our goal in kindergarten is to make them love learning and love school and I always say if they don’t leave my classroom loving learning and school, then I didn’t do my job and this just kind of sets the tone, it welcomes them, it excites them,” said teacher Erin Bellinger.
The welcome means a lot to the teachers and the parents. Many had a tough time saying goodbye, even after a few extra hugs.