Education

Need a break from political stress? School’s out, and these kids couldn’t be happier.

Students at Sunset Elementary celebrated the last day of school with a dance party.

But for students in Miami-Dade and Broward County, it was a great day. Only one thing mattered: School is out for summer.
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But for students in Miami-Dade and Broward County, it was a great day. Only one thing mattered: School is out for summer.

For adults, Thursday wasn’t an easy day.

No matter the political persuasion, former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee has likely caused a lot of stress, anger, frustration and confusion— or some combination of them all.

But for students in Miami-Dade and Broward County, it was a great day. Only one thing mattered: School is out for summer.

The normally studious Sunset Elementary near Coral Gables — a rigorous magnet school where students study for extra hours and learn a second language — turned into a dance party Thursday morning to celebrate the beginning of summer break.

The hallways buzzed with excitement as kids carted giant soda bottles and pizza boxes stacked to eye level to class celebrations. In the cafeteria, students danced to reggaeton music as Burnie the Miami Heat mascot grooved onstage. (Billy the Marlin and University of Miami mascot Sebastian the Ibis also made appearances during the day.)

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL d epf
Payton Byrd (left), Tomas Galbis, and Esteban Chiquito unwind on the last day of school in Marlem Diaz-Brown’s 4th grade class at Sunset Elementary school on Thursday, June 8, 2017. PATRICK FARRELL pfarrell@miamiherald.com

“It’s awesome!” said 10-year-old Fernanda Casillas, throwing her arms in the air when asked how she felt about the last day of school. “It’s fun. A lot of surprises.”

“I thought he was a fake person,” said Alessia Vernet, 10, flushed from dancing along to Burnie’s moves. “I never thought he was a real person.”

And even better than Burnie?

“No more homework!” Alessia said, and her classmates shouted their agreement.

In Marlem Diaz-Brown’s fourth-grade class, the students had just finished a lesson on mindfulness to help them stay focused, and zen, during the long summer months. Then they had their own dance party — jumping up from their desks, leaving their lunches half-eaten, the kids stretched out their arms and wiggled to Jason Mraz’s “Living in the Moment.”

“Living my life,” they belted. “Easy and breezy, with peace in my mind.”

But the kindergarteners outshined everyone else. After jumping up and down excitedly as Gloria the sheep — a character in bilingual apps and videos — paid their class a visit, they broke into the “Nae-Nae” dance. (You know, the shoulder-swaying, one hand in the air hip-hop move) It was enough to warm even the most cynical of hearts.

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