NEW BRITAIN â€“ Students who came to Smalley Elementary Schoolâ€™s 2nd Annual Buzzâ€™n Barbershop Monday will begin the new school year Wednesday with fresh new looks.
â€śIâ€™m very excited to start school and see my teachers,â€ť 9-year-old Angel Velazquez said as he had his hair cut by Randilynn LaPointe from Reflexions Studio in Newington.
Sitting in a salon chair a few feet away was his twin brother, Luis.
â€śKind of excited, kind of not,â€ť Luis said about the first day back.
Students had a two-hour time block to stop by with their parents and have their hair cut for free.
By the end of the event, more than 35 kids had come through.
LaPointe and Reflexions owner Barbara Parafati volunteered their time and services to Smalley for the event.
â€śItâ€™s everything,â€ť Parafati said. â€śItâ€™s huge weâ€™re able to do this.â€ť
â€śI just like giving back,â€ť LaPointe added.
They were joined by stylists from Lost Art Barbershop, also in Newington, and Smalley paraprofessional Lisa Troiani, who is also a hairstylist.
â€śThis is my first big event at Smalley,â€ť said Troiani, who just transferred from the special education program at Jefferson School. â€śItâ€™s a good way for me to get to know some of the kids so Iâ€™m not just a new face.â€ť
Smalley Principal Andrea Foligno talked to kids and grooved to music playing outside, where the event took place.
â€śWe like having kids feeling good about coming back,â€ť she said. â€śThis is a simple thing we can do to help support our families.â€ť
The school community is looking forward to reuniting on the first day Wednesday.
â€śWeâ€™re very excited to start school,â€ť Foligno said. â€śWeâ€™re happy the mandates were removed so we can come back and see all the kidsâ€™ beautiful faces. What better way to do that than with a new hair cut too?â€ť
Family-school liaison Chase Morales welcomed parents and students, answering questions and offering resources. He helped to organize the event along with special education teacher Deanna Riccardo and others.
â€śItâ€™s a group effort,â€ť Morales said. â€śWhen we put this event forward we were thinking about our experiences when we were younger and needing a haircut before school. Everybodyâ€™s going to be looking good on their first day.â€ť
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.