Friday, June 29, 2007

NY Post: School's Out for Summer - And 2 Bronx Kids Get Homework: Taking Care of Teacher's Pets by Carrie Melago...

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein meets with students on last day of school at Manhattan's PS 198, where kids say goodbye to teacher.

And at the Eagle School in the Bronx, Peanut Butter the guinea pig gets a hug.

The city's 1.1 million public schoolchildren went home for the summer yesterday - and so did classroom pets Henry the hermit crab and Peanut Butter the guinea pig.

Jairrod Hogan, 7, and his sister Tayari Hinton, 9, walked home from PS 140 in the Bronx yesterday carrying Henry and Peanut Butter, their new house guests.

"It's like sending your child away to summer camp," said science teacher Sharon West, who helped arrange accommodations for all of the school's animals.

Chancellor Joel Klein marked the final day of his fifth year on the job by signing report cards like a celebrity at PS 198 on the upper East Side.

"A lot of people told me I would never be here five years from when I started," Klein told the school's teachers. "But it has been the most exciting and rewarding year of the five."

Back in the Bronx, Jairrod and Tayari were reviewing a list of instructions about how to care for the classroom pets.

Peanut Butter eats spinach, lettuce and apricots but hates bananas and honeydew melon. And hermit crabs can't be trusted to stay in one place.

Henry's desire to crawl around wasn't a concern to Jairrod.

"I like to play with them," he said, promising to get Henry out for exercise "so he can get more bigger."

With Erin Einhorn