When we brought our son Enzo from Ecuador (Guayaquil) to NYC it was a life changing event for him. He had been a student at an all-boys private school, since PK and had just ended his school year in Ecuador when he landed in Manhattan. This was totally new to him - a public school in the heart of Mid-town, new life in the US and having to start life with language difficulties (he spoke very little English)and to make new friends at a new school.
He attended only a couple months in his 4th grade year, and then the summer break was upon us. He always was very positive about school and as parents we were still a little worried – had he adapted? When the summer break ended and walking him to school on the first day of his 5th grade year, when we arrived at the school building, he was beaming and happy.
I saw in his face the reason why PS 51 is such a great school, he was happy to be back and to run inside to tackle the new school year, but more than happy, he felt he belonged.
As parents, there is no greater joy than to see our children happy. I am lucky because I walk my son to school every morning before heading to work, and his excitement and happiness when we are at the entrance of the school building, and to see him run in, ready for a new day, that is something priceless.
Teachers, staff and other parents make up this school, his teacher Ms Miller has made him feel as an integral part of the 5th grade, but funny – he felt that for the short months he attended 4th grade here, so it really is about the school’s philosophy and ethic, putting kids first. I am a proud parent of a PS 51 Student, which today speaks English, and is fully adjusted to life in Manhattan. It truly is a long way from Guayaquil, but it may well be a lifetime away, as this is his school, his home.
Xavier & Maria Mantilla – Parents to Enzo Bruzzone, 5th Grade