AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) It’s a new and exciting year at Smallwood Drive Elementary School in Amherst. There are plenty of new faces but some veteran students are happy to welcome them in and make them feel at home.
“Don’t be nervous because once you get through your first day you’re going to be fine,” said fifth grader, William Genau.
“If you smile at any one smiling at you, it’s going to go a long way.” said fifth grader, Adelaide Cammarata. “You’re going to have a good day.”
Words of encouragement from two of Smallwood’s brightest. More than 600 students grades K-5 walked in the doors Tuesday morning. Each student was greeted by faculty and staff with a smile.
“They’re all so fresh. They’ve got their new haircuts, new little outfits and they are excited for the first day,” said teacher, Lauren Honsberger.
This year, each teacher was asked to “roll the dice” to start the school year with a little luck and advice.
A word students can expect to hear a lot this year is character. “Character is really important to all of us here at Smallwood.” said Principal Daniel Lewis. “It really sets the foundation for an incredible school year.” Smallwood was honored with the NYS School of Character award last spring. In May it was recognized as a national school of character.
Another carry over from last year is the acronym PAWS — Practice being a friend, Always be respectful, Work to learn and grow and Safety first.
There are also unique aspects to Smallwood that keep kids involved including gardening and the fifth grade play.