Brooklyn goes back to school

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Double trouble: Sisters Gianna and Gabby Cracchiolo are ready for the fourth and third grades at Marine Park’s PS 222.
Bark to school: Second-grader Emma Flash couldn’t walk into school before saying bye to her beloved pup.
Lessons outside the classroom: PS 282 Principal Rashan Hoke walks a student into school for the first day.
Peck goodbye: Marine Park mom Donna Scalise gives her new first-grader Anthony a kiss before his first day of school.
Ready to learn: Park Slope’s PS 282 faculty and teachers welcome everybody back to the first day.
Ready to read: First-grader Austin Iroku is pumped to get back to school.

It was a race to beat the bell!

Pint-sized pupils paraded back into classrooms across the borough on Wednesday for the city’s first day of public school — an exhilarating fresh start that one mom said her new-to-town tot couldn’t wait for, because of all the pals he expected to make as a first grader at Brooklyn Heights’s PS 8.

“He’s really excited,” said Tammy Iroku of her son Austin, who together just moved to Kings County from faraway North Carolina. “Everyone’s a friend, which is awesome.”

Another mother agreed that her fourth grader’s favorite part of the day was neither books nor learning, but reuniting with her gal pals after a summer apart.

“Her best friends are all in her class,” Marine Parker Kathleen Kelly said of her daughter Gianna Cracchiolo. “She’s happy.”

Going back to school was a family affair for Kelly’s clan, she said, because PS 222 student Cracchiolo waltzed into the learning house hand-in-hand with her younger sister Gabby, who started third grade — and both were under the watchful eye of mom, who teaches at the elementary school.

“I’m very excited to be there with them everyday,” Kelly said.

Of course, heading back to class meant showing off new gear for some tykes, including a PS 222 pupil whose mom said he walked into his first-grade classroom sporting new sneakers and a backpack bearing one of his favorite video-game characters, Nintendo’s Mario.

“He was very excited,” Donna Scalise said of son Anthony.

And it was more like bark to school for another PS 222 tyke, who didn’t begin her first day without giving one last kiss to her furry friend, according to her grandfather.

“It was just the three of us,” said Mill Basinite Brian Bender, who walked second grader Emma Flash to school with his dog Duke.

But students weren’t the only ones excited to get back to class — over in Park Slope, PS 282 principal Rashan Hoke and fellow faculty stood outside to welcome returning pupils with a decorated chalkboard they used for photo ops to document the big day.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 9:26 am, September 6, 2018
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