Kindy 500: A Kindergarten Program as Unique as the Kids!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 10:15am
Tami L. Johnson

Start your engines! Rev those motors!  Get your license ready! But watch out for the other cars and no crashing! The “Kindy 500” is about to start!

 Kindergarteners at Pioneer Elementary, in Marriott-Slaterville, recently had their 2nd annual end-of-year kindergarten program.  Each child had the opportunity, with a parent’s help, to build a car out of a box—but not just any box—a BIG box! Each car was unique and clever.  The children used their imaginations and made car creations including: ice cream trucks, school buses, fire trucks, army tanks, race cars, Hot Wheels, “Smart cars” and more!  There were stripes, stickers, straps and colors galore! 

At the beginning of the program, students received a “Driver’s license” to use while driving their cars around the school.  Each came with a real set of keys and a picture of the child. The children were instructed to be careful while out “driving” and use caution in the hallways. Parents volunteered their time to help the teachers and prevent any crashes.

Soon it was time to finally “Drive across America.”  Each of the four kindergarten classes were given the opportunity to “drive” their cars to a different area of the United States.  They met some very famous icons from history!  Namely, Abraham Lincoln, Betsy Ross, The Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell.

Each session lasted about 15 minutes.  Mr. Anderson, principal at Pioneer, became Abraham Lincoln himself--complete with a black top-hat and beard while donning a dark suit. Although, Mr. Anderson couldn’t fool those kindergarteners!  They knew just who he was! 

The children learned all about Abraham Lincoln’s life and the fact that he was the 16th President of the United States with only 1 year of school under his belt! Did you know that?

Next, the kids got to meet The Statue of Liberty, who was also Mrs. Langeveld—Pioneer’s librarian.  She was standing tall holding her head held high as the children entered the room.  Wearing green from head to toe and a crown made of crepe paper, including the 7 spikes which symbolized the 7 seas.  The Statue of Liberty told us all about herself-and how she came to America from France in 214 different boxes from across the ocean.  The children learned that she is made of copper—like a penny.

Betsy Ross was so much fun to meet!  She was dressed up looking just like she belonged in the 1700’s!  She told us that she used to make President George Washington’s clothing!  She came to know him in this way.  Eventually, she was given the opportunity to sew our American flag.  Oh, how she loved to sew! The children learned about the importance of the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance, too.

Last of all, the students “drove” to the Liberty Bell and learned all about how it came to be.  It is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for all to see.  In 1752, it came to the United States.  The metal was too brittle, so the Liberty Bell cracked.  It actually had to be melted down twice.  Later, the Liberty Bell was safely hidden in a church during the war. After the war, it was returned to the State House. 

Once the children traveled to all of their destinations across America, they convened in the gymnasium for a program for parents and grandparents.  There, they sang patriotic songs including, “Nifty 50” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”  How amazing to hear kindergarteners recite the 50 states!

The finale was a special “Kindy 500 Parade” outside where the children excitedly drove their cars down the sidewalk to show eager parents and family. The weather couldn’t have been better!  And neither could have those smiles!