THE BRONX - Kids at P.S. 48 in the Bronx were back in class Thursday for the beginning of the school year, but not before celebrating with a party.

Children and staff were greeted by a jazz band, and Mayor Bill de Blasio even stopped by.

School board officials say it's all a part of getting children to graduate high school. Although they might only just be starting their first day of school, officials are looking toward the future. The goal is to have the nearly 700 students who attend classes at P.S. 48 in the Bronx, and the estimated 1.1 million children who attend classes at city schools in New York City, become 80 percent of those who go on to graduate from high school by the year 2026, according to the Board of Education.

To help further the initiative, school districts 9 and 10 in the Bronx are implementing additional help in their literacy programs. They are among four districts around the city deploying the extra help. Officials say 100 reading teachers have been hired and will be placed among the schools participating in the districts. The new teachers will also help and train other teachers best practices in literacy.

Mayor de Blasio says reading programs like these have improved the overall literacy rates among city kids. 

The mayor and other city officials visited schools Thursday in all five boroughs.