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Only Happy Tears at Aspire’s Boo Hoo Brunch

A tradition born from a comedic spin on first-day tears, Aspire Charter Academy has kept the celebration alive by hosting their annual Kindergarten “Boo Hoo” Breakfast, which became a drive-thru "Boo Hoo" Brunch this year.

The breakfast has become a staple for first-year kindergartners and their parents to properly welcome them and celebrate the start of their education at Aspire. This year, Jenetta Ross, dean of lower elementary, Aspire kindergarten teachers, and other school staff welcomed families with treats and incentives to help scholars get excited about learning. Parents were given a book, reading timer, and treats. School staff asks parents to read with their children because they believe Aspire readers are leaders!

Apex student celebrates first day of kindergarten

This year Aspire welcomed two sets of twins along with a group of other excited kindergarten scholars. The "Boo Hoo" Breakfast was an idea Diane Hobbs, student/family liaison, came up with to welcome first-time kindergarten parents to Aspire. In the first few years, Hobbs and support staff noticed the apprehension parents had to leave their children at a new place. Even though most had gone to preschool, this was the start of school. 

“We noticed parents and scholars cried, not wanting to be separated. So, the comedienne in me started crying with them by saying, ‘Boo Hoo!’” said Hobbs. “That made parents laugh and from there, the ‘Boo Hoo’ Breakfast was launched.”

First day of Kindergarten for Apex students

Hobbs shared Aspire continues to be committed to creating an atmosphere of academic excellence for all scholars and parents during these unprecedented times. The event has been going on for nine years and parents typically escort their scholars into the building to have breakfast and say their goodbyes. With Aspire starting the year in a remote learning environment, meaning all students learn from home, the event was done drive-thru style and ensured a great start to a productive school year that parents are introduced to warmly. 

One parent remarked that even with everything going on and many unknowns, the Aspire staff made them feel warm and welcome. With roughly sixteen families in attendance, Hobbs finds it very important that parents feel connected to the school community and hopes to bring family, community, and school together. For Aspire, that is the formula for success!

Apex students are ready for Kindegarten

ReNae Robinson, principal at Aspire, explained that when it comes to school culture and community, the most important aspect for her as a leader is building strong, positive relationships with all stakeholders. “It is critical to our school culture and community. It is said that ‘People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ I want everyone who enters Aspire to know that we care!” she said.

Robinson is proud that Aspire staff and families have become lemonade makers! “They have taken every lemon and turned them into lemonade,” she said. “This school year has already been full of twists and turns, but our staff and scholars have remained resilient!”

About Aspire Charter Academy:
Aspire Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Gary, Indiana, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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