An energetic crowd of parents, teachers and community leaders cheered and gave high-fives to Carnage Middle School students Monday morning, the first day back from summer break.
“I don’t know why they were so happy,” said 12-year-old Aniya Cherry. “I’m not even that happy.”
Carnage Middle hosted “It Takes a Village” to bring about 20 people together to show students a supportive community is behind them.
Nicole Edwards, the school’s magnet coordinator, said she was inspired to organize the gathering after hearing about similar events held in other states.
“Students perform better academically when they see the parents and community members support them,” she said. “I want this to be a school that children and families want to be a part of.”
De’Azia Goss, 13, said seeing the cheerful group helped ease her first-day anxiety.
“I got a little indigestion on the ride here,” she said.
Raleigh City Council member Corey Branch attended, along with Wake County District Court Judge Craig Croom.
“We care about their overall education and what they’re doing and what they’re learning,” Branch said.
Croom, who is 6-foot-4, towered over students as he raised his arms to high-five those walking into the school.
“Up high, y’all,” he said. “I know you’re ready to jump.”
Croom said he heard about the gathering and was thrilled to interact with students – and hopefully get them excited to be back in school.
“I’m just a big believer in whatever we have to do to inspire those kids to do their very best,” he said.
Carnage principal Pamela Perry Johnson said she enjoyed watching students’ reactions Monday morning.
“You could see they were really getting into it,” she said.
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi