Celebrating being 100 has never been more youthful. At W.A. Wright Elementary in Mt. Juliet last week it was 5 and 6 year olds who celebrated the century mark, that is, 100 days of school completed.
It's an annual event for these early learners who surprisingly can count to 100 with ease, even by "fives" and "10s," as well as write sentences to describe exactly what they will do when they reach the ripe old age of 100.
While W.A. Wright Assistant Principal Dr. Peggy Druyor said it was a fun day for the kiddos, a lot of real thought goes into making all the planned activities follow mandated state standards.
"It is an exciting day, but much learning has led up to this and much learning goes on this day as well," she said. "Practicing counting falls under standards. The heavy focus is on our kindergarteners. We make a big production of it."
And it was quite a production as all the students from the school's five kindergarten classes paraded in the halls of the "big kids" to show off their shirts they made at home the night before that had 100 almost anything attached. They wore shirts decorated with pom poms, googly eyes, Legos, gumballs, hearts and some were even stamped 100 times.
"They showed off their hard work learning to count on our 100th day of school," said kindergarten teacher Clarissa Childress.
"We have worked every single day leading up to this celebration," she said of the children who came to her with varying skills. "They used fine motor skills to pull together their shirts, most with parental help of course. But, it's all about reinforcing and making them proud of their accomplishments."
Already, these youngsters know how to read a bit and even write paragraphs. During last week's special day they wrote what they would do when they are 100 years old.
Cooper Wood said when he's 100 years old he will play with his grandchildren, sit in his chair and read lots of books. He'll also save his money to do fun stuff. Of course, not all the words were spelled right, but everyone got the gist and his penmanship was excellent.
Some other activates that fell under state standards for these young "scholars" were stacking 100 plastic cups into castles and towers and sharing 10 bags of home-inspired treat bags with 10 treats for a total of 100 goodies. Still others wore a 100th day crown that said, "I am 100 days smarter!" They completed their fun filled day by creating pictures of what they will look like when they are 100 years old.
"They loved it," said Childress. "They looked forward to it all year. They counted down the days."
Now, they just have about 80 more days to squeeze in more learning before first grade.
Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at email@example.com.