PS 198 kids get opportunity to build bears

They were ready to make teddies.

Several third graders got to enjoy a productive day during a trip to the Build-a-Bear workshop in Staten Island on April 19. About 38 students at PS 198 earned the chance to have a fun adventure at the location for displaying good academic performance. The kids were delighted at the activity and even got to do cool things with their stuffed friends, said an educator who coordinated the trip.

“They got to choose their bear, fluff it, give it a heart, dress it up and pick out clothes,” said Angela Hunte, their teacher. “They even got to name it and they were so excited and just extremely happy about this experience. It was a first time experience for a lot of them and they were really happy about the whole process.”

Four local businesses sponsored the trip after they were contacted by Hunte. Lending a hand to fund the trip were area businesses, Trewlani Place, Mercury Paints, Suede Restaurant, and Murry’s True Value Hardware store. She said as staple businesses in East Flatbush she reached out to them.

“I was in the process of starting a scholar rewards program to show off our students who were doing well academically, and I wrote a proposal and they got back to me,” she said. “They were interested with what I was doing with the kids and they agreed with what I said in proposal about rewarding students who were working hard.”

And even with some doubts, she was satisfied to see that all the children were pleased, said Hunte.

“We didn’t think the boys would enjoy something about bears, but I think they were more excited than the girls. They loved the hockey outfits for their bears and everything,” she said.

Hunte said the community coming together to support this trip is critical to the growth of children, and expressed the hope that more trips for deserving students will be possible in the future.

“It takes a village to raise a child and it’s really important that we get communities involved,” said Hunte. “We need support from everyone and not just parents and teachers — we have to show our children that we recognize their work to continue motivating them and it begins with a lot of these business supporting us.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

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