First day favorites

Last Wednesday was a fun day for young Princetonians. Piles of dried leaves lining Witherspoon Street gave the feeling of fall, while the summer heat encouraged play outdoors. Between 2:50 and 3 p.m. all six Princeton Public Schools opened their doors to have children and teens flowing onto the sidewalks – many appearing reinvigorated by a first day back.

For Vrritti Bhargava, the first day of school was especially exciting because it was her first at Community Park. With her family new to Princeton, Vrritti headed into the third grade with confidence and a smile.

“In the beginning at the cafeteria it was quite hard,” the young lady said. “But then I found a girl named Charlotte and met her friend, Anne. We became friends. We played on the playground together. It was a lot of fun.”

Later, Vrritti got to play at a game station in class. She did math and art and she got to use a post-it to mark down her favorite activities in different subjects.

“Our homework tonight is to pick something to share with the class tomorrow about our summer,” Vrritti said. “I am going to bring photos from Delhi, India, and Dubai. That’s where my family went this summer.”

Nora Gaarder started first grade this year with Mrs. Fairweather. Nora was pleased with her first day and got to see a lot of friends from her kindergarten class as well as many new faces.

“My favorite part of the day was recess,” she said.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that most kids are partial to recess during their first days back.

“I played with my friends. We went on the slide. We went on the swing. We were laughing – good jokes,” Nora said, somewhat bashfully but with a grin.

In addition to recess, fourth grader Sofia Potocny also enjoys art and gym class. She loves gymnastics and is always happy when the time of year comes to practice during school. On her first day back, she didn’t have art but had a nice time in music.

Emily Spira began the year in CP’s Dual Language Immersion Program and feels as though her Spanish is already considerably good.

“I like Sra. Rodriguez and Sra. Gutierrez. I started with Spanish class, and the teacher told us about what you do in the morning: choose your lunch, put lunch in the lunch wagon, put blue folders in the basket,” Emily said. “But there are no cubbies like in kindergarten, and I like cubbies. In first grade, there’s just hooks.”

Emily played Shoots and Ladders with her friend, James, from nursery school. She also had fun seeing her friend Nancy and said they sat and discussed what kind of presents they could make to give to the tooth fairy. After all, Emily said, “she always brings us things.”

About Erica Chayes Wida

Erica Chayes Wida is a writer, mom, and complete zealot when it comes to poetry, paella and globe collections. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from UCLA, Erica moved to Italy where the seasons and old architecture inspired her journey back to the East Coast. Since then, she and her husband have created a nest egg locally and, over time, developed a rather grand love affair with the town of Princeton. Erica is senior editor at The Princeton Sun and enjoys fulfilling her Princeton affections on a daily basis. | View all posts by Erica Chayes Wida