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Kids share their expectations at back-to-school event
by Adriana Rambay Fernández
Reporter staff writer
Sep 09, 2012 | 5661 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NEW FRIENDS AND TEACHERS – Twelve-year-old Wayne Flaig and 13-year-old Michael Smarth both start middle school in Secaucus this September.
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For many kids, summer is officially over with the start of school, which kicked off last week in Secaucus. For youngsters leaving Clarendon and Huber Street Elementary Schools to move up to the Secaucus Middle School, back-to-school represents a time of transition, especially with the prospect of new friends, teachers, lockers, and classroom periods.

Some of those local pre-teens who start middle school shared their thoughts and expectations during a Secaucus Back to School Family Pool Night event held at the Secaucus Town Pool on Aug. 31.

New friends and teachers

“Meeting new people,” said 12 year-old Wayne Flaig about what he looked forward to with the start of middle school less than a week away. He stood near the concession stand with his friend and classmate, 13 year-old Michael Smarth. A lifelong resident, Flaig moves on from Clarendon Elementary School to join the rest of the new seventh graders at the middle school, which is in the same building as the high school.

Smarth was looking forward to meeting “all the new teachers.” He said that he spent his summer playing video and computer games with some time spent at the beach.
“Be nice to everyone.” – Helen Grewe.
Across the lawn, 12 year-old Helen Grewe showed her 12 year-old friend Olivia Ventura the color guard routine she learned during the high school marching band camp the week prior. Grewe will perform with the color guard along with others from middle and high school. The band performs at all high school varsity football games, and participates in three competitions and two parades annually.

She plans to play clarinet in the concert band. While she didn’t seem too nervous about meeting new kids, she was anxious about making it to her classes on time.

Staying on schedule

“We only have two minutes,” said Grewe about the time allotted between class periods. She said she had spent time learning how to open a lock to practice how to open a locker.

Ventura plans to join the Drama Club. She said that she was a little nervous about meeting new kids because both Clarendon and Huber Street elementary school graduates will now be together at the middle school.

“Just be yourself,” she said in regard to how to make new friends.

“Be nice to everyone,” added Grewe.

Family night

Although Back to School Night follows a number of local fairs where residents come out to enjoy free festivities, this represents a wind down to summer’s end. Some parents sat out on the lawn while their kids took a dip in the swimming pool, while others watched as their children bounced around in the inflatable castles.

Kids took their turns on the different attractions to get in that one final bounce or jump before its back to the books. One young boy painted a carrot at the craft table while a girl had a heart glitter tattoo placed on the back of her hand by a new local business, The Craft Clique. A long line stretched out from the food table where folks could get free hot dogs, grilled cheese, macaroni salad, drinks, and ice cream sandwiches.

“It is a family-oriented event,” said Recreation Facility Director John Schwartz. “It is nice thing that everyone is out together.” Schwartz expected up to three hundred residents to attend. He said that the Swim Center had a great year with memberships up, more summer camps using the pool, and an increase in guest passes.

Residents who attended the Pool Night received a free back-to-school kit with pens, rulers, pencil cases, highlighters, and molding clay among other items.

Any family who has a need for school supplies can reach out to Town Hall. For more information, call the mayor’s office at (201) 330-2005.

Adriana Rambay Fernández may be reached at

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