PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Before the members of Peekskill High School’s freshman class stepped into their classrooms for the first time last week, they had a chance to get acquainted with the building at Freshman Orientation, which was followed by the school’s second annual Real Talk Tailgate Party.
The day marked a collaboration between the high school and the Peekskill Police Department. At the event, over 300 freshman and their family members spent the morning touring the school, meeting teachers and administrators and learning a few essentials of high school living.
After the orientation, freshman mingled in the school’s courtyard to the sounds of a DJ, and spent the afternoon hanging out with local police officers. Members of Peekskill’s PBA also volunteered their time to help grill hamburgers and hot dogs for those in attendance.
As a special treat, the event also featured a mobile video game station which boasted 15 gaming systems both inside and out, along with air conditioning for players who chose to play inside the unit.
“This is another great opportunity for the police department to interact with the members of our community, in this case students, faculty and staff members of Peekskill High School,” said Peekskill Police Chief Eric Johansen. “It’s a good time and we’re making great friends. The idea is to have fun and to let those who are here today know that the Peekskill Police are here to help.”
In addition to police volunteers, members of BJ’s Wholesale Club in Yorktown Heights also helped out at the event, serving food and handing out waters which the business donated.
“We hope today inspires a sense of belonging to the school,” said Peekskill High School Assistant Principal Kent Picou, who helped organize the day's activities.
Both students and parents who attended the orientation and tailgate party said that they felt welcomed by the event, and that the day helped to ease the transition from middle to high school for students.
“It was a good day, and I liked it,” said D’Nair Joseph, an incoming freshman.