100 Days

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

PROCTORVILLE — Anyway you counted it, dished it up or danced to it, it was all the same. It was the magic 100. That’s the number Fairland East students waited for all year.

And Tuesday it came. It was the 100th day of school and the celebrations marking that special figure abounded. Everywhere there was something that added up to 100, whether it was a poster in the hall with a tree covered with 100 cardboard bananas to a stick pretzel and two powdered doughnuts that made the three digits an edible treat. There were bags filled with 100 treats that students had patiently counted out and a number line that stretched around a kindergarten room that marked off 100.

Students made a wish list of what they’d do if they had a hundred dollars to spend on anything and offered up ideas ranging from a zebra, pig and a unicorn house to a “blackbaree.”

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For the past 15 years the school has marked the 100th day of school as a way to teach the youngsters some basic math lessons as they learn how to count to 100 by fives, 10s and 20s.

“This is fun in learning,” Jana Flynn, a kindergarten teacher there, said. “It is a creative action. It’s hands-on. It is so interactive.”

Flynn sweetened the learning process significantly as she spent a couple of hours the night before hiding 100 Hershey kisses around her room.

“It was hard, finding places down to their level,” she said.

Each candy was marked with a number and her students’ mission was to find the hidden treats and match them to a bingo-like number card.

“Teaching kindergarten is a lot of work,” Abbie Pannell, assistant principal. “They do a lot to make it fun. They put their heart and soul into it.”

The special day was supposed to have happened last Tuesday, but the massive snowstorm that blanketed the area changed that. However, the week’s delay did nothing to damper the spirits of the youngsters.

By 9:30 classes were in the gym for the 100th Day Mini Olympics. Starting with head rolls to foot stamps, the Olympics featured 10 different exercises, done, naturally 10 times. That was followed by one of the hardest exercises at all, no talking for 100 seconds.

When they succeeded, a deafening roar went up in the gym.

It all may have been done in the name of learning, but second grader Abbie Mandt seemed to sum up what the day meant to all her fellow students.

“We get to have a lot of fun in the gym,” she said.