On Saturday, December 12th the REACH Program celebrated the end of its academic year with its annual Christmas party. Roughly 545 members of our community attended, and a festive, friendly time was had by all.
The vast crowd represented many different areas of Regis and REACH life. Excited talk and laughter filled both the auditorium and the cafeteria. In fact, due to the unseasonably warm weather, a few tables were even set up in the Quad.
The most youthful, enthusiastic attendees were current REACH students, young men in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade from all around the city. The 6th graders (1st years, in REACH terms) enjoyed their first Christmas party. Both the 6th and 7th graders enjoyed the end of the fall session. Earlier that day, they had taken final exams in ELA and Math and finished final projects in Studio Art and Oratory. The 8th graders were comparing notes on high school admission, with 18 excited about their status as semi-finalists, looking forward to Regis Interview Day next month.
The REACH students also got to spend quality time with their mentors—Regis sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are paired one-to-one with a REACH student. They caught up, joked, and made plans for the winter Read for REACH and vocabulary contests. Meanwhile, the mentors' parents spent time with parents of current REACH students, surely talking about holiday plans, common and diverse experiences around NYC, and the joys of raising high-achieving teenage boys.
Regis Interim President Father Jim Croghan, S.J., joined the fun, and was seen sampling from both sides of a generous and multi-ethnic buffet. Current student parents provide the food, which represents the diversity of our city and program: pasta, perogies, beans and rice, Haitian griot, and many, many desserts from bakeries near and far kept everyone fed and happy.
The party concluded with another sign of unity and difference: the singing of "Silent Night" in 13 different languages. While English and Spanish came easily for most, Arabic and Ukrainian were more challenging. Everyone struggling through the same hymn served the common goal of celebrating our community togetherness and the approach of our holy day, Christmas.
Included below are photos from the 2015 REACH end-of-year Christmas reception.