AVON, Conn. (WTNH) — With a little help from their mascot Reggie, staff members at CREC Reggio Magnet School of the Arts are making sure students kick off their days with a smile.

Rain or shine, staff members hold a welcome parade, welcoming students in before they even get inside. They want students to be comfortable and eager to come to school, especially after a pandemic year.

“We remember how exciting the first day of school is for all of us and that’s what we strive to do every day for our students,” said Principal Josie Di Pietro Smith.

She wants to build a school community, making sure parents are part of the solid foundation.

“We know that we need to get them off to a great start in an environment that welcomes them, cares for them and cherishes them and that’s our goal each and every day,” she said.

The school is striving for a positive climate and culture with help from its Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Yllka Sakaj.

“All adults in this building care and they genuinely care for their students, and we are very lucky that they trust us with their children,” Sakaj said.