School is cool for new Irish students in Yonkers
Summer is over and a new school beckons for a new generation of Irish American children in Yonkers.
Mom Fidelma (of Co. Louth) and dad Fergal Byrne (of Co. Monaghan) smiled proudly as their second youngest took to the idea of school like a duck to water.
"We only have one more to go now," laughs Fidelma, looking over at her youngest Jenna, 2.
Shane was most excited about “eating lunch” during his first day of big school. Everything else, it seemed, he would take in his stride.
Aoibhe Charles, 4, clung to her mom as dozens of other parents and children descended upon the schoolyard.
Aoibhe, daughter of Sandra Feeney Charles and Anthony Charles, originally of Co. Galway and Co. Cavan, told the Irish Voice she looked forward to drawing pictures in school.
"Singing too," shared Aoibhe shyly.
Donning a pink Dora the Explorer bag, Aoibhe looked around to see if she recognized other children in the school yard.
When asked if she will learn her ABCs in pre-kindergarten, Aoibhe was quick to inform the Irish Voice that she already knew them.
As the time for school quickly approached, excited children began pulling their parents towards the door while others hid behind their mother’s or father’s legs, some even in their arms.
Just before it was time to go into her new school, Niamh Kelly returned to the Irish Voice.
“I forgot to say that I will learn to draw but I know how to draw a house already,” she said nodding.
“But I don’t know how to draw a dress and I like dresses so I hope my teacher can teach me to do that today. Can you ask the teacher?” asked Niamh.
Realizing it was time to go into school, Niamh’s older brother Ronan, 7, came to find her and took her by the hand.
“Come on,” said Ronan.
Tuesday was also Kayla Rooney’s first day of big school. No stranger to the school yard, she has been accompanying her big brother Jack to the school door every day for the past two years. Kayla was one of the most excited children ready for her big day.
Kayla, whose mother Siobhan hails from Co. Clare and dad Mike Rooney from Co. Galway, shared an excited “yes” when asked if she was looking forward to her new school.
“I will play in school with my friends,” shared Kayla.
Jack, her big brother, took his sister by the hand to guide her into the building and promised to show her the ropes if she was lost. However, Kayla didn’t look like a lady who would need assistance.
One by one children and their parents filtered through the school doors, leaving only the really scared ones outside. One young Irish boy was so distraught his mother had to promise him she would buy him a dog if he stopped crying. That didn’t even work.
A little girl donning a red backpack told her mother she was “scared.”
“You will see all your friends,” said the worried mother in response.
As the sun shone brightly overhead and one by one parents parted with their babies, a crowed gathered at a breakfast table -- complimentary of Eileen’s Country Kitchen on McLean Avenue in Yonkers -- to share stories.
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