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They Heart School: New Orleans Graduates Aim to Break Record By Danielle Dreilinger, The Times-Picayune

Collegiate Academies students gathered Friday (May 1) with their teachers and family to celebrate upcoming graduation by making a heartfelt effort to break a world record. They did not grow a very long beard, nor did they twerk, but they did touch their hands together, curled in their fingers and pointed their thumbs to the floor.

Representatives of Taylor Swift, the pop singer often photographed making the heart gesture, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The current record for “most people making heart-shaped hand gestures” stands at 554 and was set a year ago in the United Kingdom,according to the Guinness website. It was not clear how long Collegiate’s aspiring record-breakers had to maintain the position.

Collegiate Academies runs three charter high schools in eastern New Orleans and the 9th Ward: the flagship Sci Academy, and two newer schools, George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy and G.W. Carver Preparatory Academy, which do not yet have a senior class.

The point of the event, spokeswoman Malana Joseph said, was to “show the world their love for scholars and celebrate their achievements.”

This fall, 96 percent of Collegiate’s graduates are going to college, Joseph said. Almost half qualified for TOPS scholarships, and they were offered more than $3 million in merit-based financial aid.

Schools across the country have begun to adopt May 1 as an academic version of the athletic “signing day” for seniors. New Orleans is planning to honor all its high school graduates May 8 at its second annual “Senior Shout-Out.”

Click here to see the original article, and view more photos from the event below!

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