BUCS students get a hero’s welcome as they head back to class

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s the first day of school for Buffalo United Charter School students, and heroes from the community were at the building Monday to help get the students excited for a “super” year.

The principal and teachers were dressed in super hero capes to pump the students up. Other community members wore their normal hero uniforms, as police, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, EMTs, military members, TSA agents, Border Patrol agents, SRT members, K-9 teams, and more welcomed the kids back to school.

All of those community members formed lines to high five every student as they entered the building, to help build partnerships with the kids in the community they serve.

“We’re on their side. We want to keep them safe. We want to make sure that they’re happy and that they can concentrate on what they need to concentrate on,” said Capt. Mark Makowski, with the Buffalo Police Department. “We hope just by being here, and being happy with them, shaking hands with them, talking with them a little bit, that that will portray a positive role model to them.”

For some of the students, the welcome back celebration was a chance to meet the heroes they could someday become, if they follow those career paths. “You give them a sense of accomplishment that they can strive for,” said Buffalo Fire Lt. Kevin Harris.

For all of the students, it’s a chance to recognize the heroes in themselves, too. “You feel that power within you to do everything and to do great things,” explained Jina Gentry, a Special Education teacher at BUCS.

A lot of the students told News 4 they could see themselves as superheroes. “Because I like helping people a lot when they’re down,” said Shawntrice Alexander, an incoming 6th grader.

“I’m going to show people how to be nice and be kind and do good in school,” agreed another 6th grader, Kmiah Smith.

We know starting school can be a little rough for some kids, whether they’re lamenting the end of summer or starting as kindergartners in a new school setting.

But, seeing the support of so many community members as they headed back to class can make a big difference, helping set them up for a successful school year.

“I think it allows them to feel they have someone behind them, motivating them,” Gentry said. “I really enjoyed seeing their faces light up as they were giving the high fives, seeing the different people that support them. And not just their parents, not just their teachers, but other community members that are there.”

More heroes are always needed to mentor Buffalo United Charter School students throughout the year. If you’d like to help out, you can contact the school for more information by calling (716) 835-9862.

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