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One in a Million: Chess, Crochet, Cheerleading … and Corny Collins

ExpandED Schools

We’re reaching our 1 millionth student this school year! This blog is part of a series where we journey throughout our expanded learning schools network and get to know some of our students. Meet Grandee, an 8th grader in the Bronx. He’s 1 in a million! 

“I did the school play last year. It was Hairspray and I was Corny Collins. It was nerve-racking on the day of the show. At first I was crying, but then I just remembered that my friends supported me. So I was good after the first number. I got into the character and I didn’t care what people would think. At the end, when everyone applauded, it felt like I accomplished something for me, but also for my family.

I like dancing, and art. Art helps me express my feelings. I wanted to be an artist when I grow up, then a singer, than a dancer, then back to an artist and then an art teacher. But I want to get into a high school that can help me with the subjects that I’m not really good in. I need to work on math and science.

For expanded day, we have these different fun clubs, which we choose. I’m in chess and crochet. In crochet, I get to lose my mind. It’s very hard to maneuver your hand. So when I focus on my hand movements, I don’t think about anything else. Chess focuses and challenges my mind. I used to do cheerleading. The workouts we did in cheerleading were extreme. You know how they do stunts, where they put the person up in the air? I used to be that person. The cheerleading team is where friendships can’t be broken. It influenced me to be respectful toward others, be forgiving.”





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