Kinder 101


Maricella, 4, and mom Davina Sanchez (right) read a story as program specialist Donna Lindsay tries to calm Nathaniel Cabanag, 4, on the first day of school.

For children who were too young to start school last fall, the New Haven school district on Monday began offering a midyear kindergarten program to prepare the 4- and 5-year-olds for kindergarten next September. Though there were some tears and restlessness, all in all, the first day went smoothly, according to parents and staff.

 ”I had kids crying because they didn’t want to leave their moms (in the morning), then by the end, they were like, `No, go away!’” teacher Nicole Souza said.

Maricella Sanchez, the girl in the above photo, told me she made two friends the first day of school, and her fave recess activities involve the seesaw and swing.

Another kid, 5-year-old T.J. Feurstock, got excited talking about his day:  “I like lunch time. I ate all of my sandwich,” he proudly reported.

Three students who were enrolled in the program were no-shows on Monday. But the district won’t have to worry about filling those seats if the students decide not to participate. There’s still a waiting list of about 40 pupils, according to student services Executive Director Kathy Moniz.

Linh Tat