The making of Kenny’s Show

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Since September, Kenneth Henderson, also known as Mr. Kenny, has been preparing the students of P.S. 255 to take the stage for the annual “Kenny’s Show.”

Mr. Kenny has been organizing this show since the summer, drawing inspiration from Michael Jackson, the Jackson 5, and Freddie Mercury, a recent favorite among the boys. “I love to incorporate their ideas,” he said. “For example, they’re doing Bohemian Rhapsody. They’re putting their own twist and flavor into it, I love it.”

Mr. Kenny is a firm believer in pushing the students to reach their full potential and is appreciative of the opportunity to challenge both them and himself. “They get a lot of confidence […] I push them out of their comfort zone, and I want them to feel that they can accomplish anything,” said Mr. Kenny. “I get my inspiration from working with the kids because I love it, they love it, [and] it keeps me young and very active.”

The choreography and singing is not easy but “[we] learn from Mr. Kenny himself,” student Adam Rios said. “You just pay attention to him very closely when he’s teaching us how to dance. And sometimes we can make mistakes, but we can do it more times till we get it right.”

The show draws support from multiple people, such as the performers’ family members, the P.S. 255 alumni, and the Townsend Harris students and faculty.  Volunteers from the club No Buddy Left Behind make sure that the students are comfortable backstage while also pulling curtains, moving mics, and placing props.

Club President Kaitlyn Wu said that her favorite part of volunteering is “seeing how happy [they] are on stage… their confidence and joy is contagious. I love just watching the show backstage and seeing how all their hard work comes together.”

Townsend Harris faculty members also make an extra effort to acknowledge the students’ hard work. Mr. Kenny said, “[We’re] grateful for the school aids because every year they donate money for a pizza party for our kids.”

P.S. 255 student Justin Garcia said, “The show gives the students the opportunity for people [to see] us doing everything [they think] we cannot do. My favorite part is my family… I like to see my family look at me like a star.”

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