The 104 students of Southampton Head Start waited nervously with giggles as they lined up in the hallway outside the Riverhead High School’s auditorium Friday evening under the watchful eyes of their teachers and aides. They were dressed in their “best outfits” picked from their closets for the first “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fashion and Talent Show,” presented by the school’s parent committee.
The show was part of a fundraiser t0 improve the outdated playground facility and to fund field trips for the students. The Southampton Head Start program began in 1964 and is based in Riverside. Its mission is to help provide child support and family services.
Charlie Green of Calverton, who is the co-chairman of the Southampton Head Start parent’s committee, said the playground needs to be made safer and more appealing.
Mr. Green, who’s owned KnuStyle Salon in Riverhead for 17 years, said his 4-year-old son Kaemon couldn’t sleep the night before the show because he was so excited.
Mr. Green and chairwoman Doris Tyler started talking about the fundraiser in October.
As the curtain opened all the 3- and 4-year-olds were in one line across the stage with teachers and aides helping them as they sang the opening nursery rhyme song, “Five Little Monkeys.” Parents and family members rushed to the edge of the stage to video tape the performance on their smartphones and cameras.
The emcee for the show was Carolyn Braunskill, a KnuStyle Salon stylist.
“I see the cold didn’t keep anyone home,” she told the audience. “Thank you for coming out to support the babies tonight.”
There were about a dozen participants in the talent show including the Bellport Double Dutch Team, Voices of Friendship Singing Choir and Jennie Corbin of Riverhead doing a dramatic recitation of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.