BY DAVID CRUZ
It was 1937 and FDR was president, gas cost a dime – and the doors for P.S. 108 Philip J. Abinanti school opened for the first time.
Now, after graduating thousands of kids, the elementary school is turning 75.
The school plans to celebrate its milestone year with several events, including a ceremonial ribbon cutting of its brand new jungle gym and renovated schoolyard next week.
Former classmates will join current ones for the event at 1166 Neill Avenue. Local pols, merchants and neighbors are expected to give thanks to the school that’s been a staple to the Morris Park community.
Among the guests will be Nancy Pike, class of ‘44 graduate, whose two granddaughters currently go the school.
Another alum, Audra Riddle, will also be on hand to share memories. She’s the parent of a fourth grader.
“The school has such a great reputation that people would want their own children to come here and continue the tradition,” said Caren Shapiro, vice prinicpal.
Guests will be treated to live performances by the schools cheering squad and swing dancers.
An art exhibit will be on display showing the works of students who drew paintings based on the patriotic song, “House I Live In” by Frank Sinatra.
Upcoming retiree Robin Miller, a teacher for 30 years at the school, will help unveil the exhibition.
Service has been the underlying essence for the school, according Shapiro. It is named after Philip Abinantis, a community activist who dedicated his life to improving Morris Park.
P.S. 108 recently carried on Abinanti’s tradition by celebrating “Community Day” in April.
The neighborhood, once home to many Italian, Irish and Hispanic students in the past, has seen a wave of immigrants from India, Pakistan, China and the Dominican Republic.
Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-698-6216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.