by Jose Alfaro
Students, parents, teachers and community leaders recently celebrated Great Oaks Charter School – Bridgeport’s first day of school.
There was an air of excitement as the children walked into a prepped assembly room class-by-class for a ceremony welcoming the inaugural sixth grade class.
Pastor William McCullough of Russell Temple CME Church, who worked tirelessly to help Great Oaks get off the ground, gave a short speech about education being the way out of poverty and the foundation for economic freedom. He also pledged his commitment to making Great Oaks Charter School one of the best public schools in Bridgeport.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch also spoke to the kids. He applauded the parents for caring about their chldrens’ education and future, and said that this is a great time in the city’s history as they move forward with plans to create more jobs. Mayor Finch said that the new middle school students will benefit from these changes when they finish school and earn a college degree. Lastly, the Mayor reminded the parents and children, “Don’t let anyone tell you that your school isn’t a public school. This is a public school.”
State Education Commissioner, Stephen Pryor gave a call-and-response speech engaging students to think about how many jobs will require a college degree. When he asked if the students plan on going to college, they shouted with great enthusiasm, “Yeah!”
At the end of the ceremony, students handed in their signed contracts and received their school tee-shirts. The community leaders and elected officials stuck around to speak with the students and parents, taking pictures and learning about the young people that will be attending the school, and building a brighter future for Bridgeport.
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