Emma Racioppo, 6, wore a pretty bow and a big smile as she graduated from first grade at Waverly School in Eastchester Friday morning.
Family and friends of approximately 125 first graders listened enthusiastically as the graduates sang songs in the school auditorium. The festivities were split into two sessions, one at 9:30 and a second at 11, to accommodate all 250 graduates.
Emma's mom, Maggie, said the school has been a wonderful experience for her daughter.
"It is such a nurturing environment and a very safe school," Racioppo said. "The kids get a great education here," she said.
Racioppo gave high marks to the school where, in addition to learning letters and numbers, children learn manners.
"They learn to respect each other right from the start, which is so important," she said.
School Principal Dr. Jeffrey Melendez began the ceremony by reading a favorite children's book which reminded parents and students of how far they have come in the two years they spent at the school.
"When my wife and I had a child, I was told by my pediatrician that a day feels like a year and the years will go by like a day," he said.
The Waverly School has approximately 500 kindergarten and first graders. Graduates from 11 first grade classes will be divided up with children from the north end of town attending Greenvale School and children from the southern portion of town attending Anne Hutchinson School. The elementary schools go from second to fifth grade.
All of the children will be reunited again in sixth grade at Eastchester Middle School and remain together through high school.
Melendez said he gets attached to the children under his care. "I am so proud of you, I will miss you and I hope you will all come back to visit me," he said.
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