The students of EastSide Charter School were welcomed back Tuesday morning by a crowd of school and community leaders, government officials, Wilmington police and the mascot of the Delaware Blue Coats.
As the students entered the building through what felt like a red carpet runway pulsing with upbeat music, they were greeted with fist bumps, high fives, hugs, words of encouragement and plenty of applause.
This was the Wilmington charter’s eighth annual “Suit up, Show up” event, which marks the first full school day for all students.
“‘Suit up, Show up’ is a wonderful tradition where our community leaders and parents welcome students back to school,” said Aaron Bass, the school’s chief executive officer. “It is a way to show students they are valued and appreciated, not just by people within our building, but the community at large.”
Some of the notable attendees included Gov. John Carney, Rep. Kim Williams, Education Secretary Mark Holodick, and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, who is running for governor next year.
The school is in the midst of major construction, driven by its new $25 million 24,000-square-foot STEM hub scheduled to open in fall 2024.
It felt like the government and school leaders were fangirling and fanboying, treating the students like celebrities.
As the students rolled into the school during the 7 o’clock hour, a few students appeared shy or nervous, sometimes shrinking back into their hoodies, but their demeanor changed as they made their way through the crowd.
EastSide was open last week, but the schedule brought in different grades at different times for different lengths of time, making Tuesday the first full day for all its nearly 500 students.
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“We are excited that many schools across the state are welcoming students in a similar manner because every child in Delaware should know that the state is rooting for them,” Bass said. “Our future depends upon the work of our children today.”
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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