Ringing the first bell
Today was the first day of school in Ukraine and even though the boys are staying home this year to focus on home schooling, I decided to go anyway. Since we know so many of the children, it felt a little like we were sending our own kids off to school.
Our neighbor Oksana
The ceremony had pretty much the same format as last year, but instead of a little girl riding on the shoulders of an older student and ringing the bell, they did things a little different. This year they had a boy and a girl ring the bell together as they were flanked by two older students.
Oksana and Alina
All the children dress up for the first day of school and bring their teachers bouquets of flowers. It broke my heart to see Maxime after the ceremony standing in the back wearing basically the same clothes he had been wearing on the playground the day before and looking a little bit dirty. I realized that he hadn't stood with his classmates. He didn't have a back pack or even a bag to carry his new books in like the other kids either. It really bothered me that his parents did absolutely nothing for him on his first day of school as he goes into 7th grade. At least I was there for him and was able to tell him to be happy as he went off to his class room. Hopefully that meant something.
Two police officers attending the event just in case things get out of hand. (just kidding) The officer on the left is Alina's father and her mother is next to him.