This article appeared in Monday’s Leader-Times from Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Grace Christian School is a ministry of the Grace Brethren Church of West Kittanning, Mark Cornwell, pastor.
100 ways to celebrate
By Mitch Fryer
Monday, February 6, 2006
WEST KITTANNING — Astronaut Neil Armstrong was at Grace Christian School on Friday.
So was anthropologist Jane Goodall, gymnast Mary Lou Retton, TV’s Mr. Rogers and more than a dozen 100-year-old guests — an impressive collection of very important people to visit one school.
Those famous people weren’t really there.
It was only preschool through fourth-grade students dressed up either as their favorite person of the past 100 years or as they think they themselves would look when the reach their 100th birthday.
They were all participating in the school’s annual activity day, “The 100th Day of School.”
“It’s a fun thing to do in the middle of winter when there is nothing going on,” said teacher Vi Fennell. “It means that they’re better than halfway done with the school year.”
Jared Emminger wore a button sweater and tennis shoes as Mr. Rogers.
“I liked watching him on TV,” Emminger said.
Samuel Wilson has read all about his dress-up character, Neil Armstrong.
“He was the first man on the moon,” Wilson said.
Kayly Lazaroff looked for monkeys, pretending to be Jane Goodall.
There were 100-year-old kids with aching backs, in wheelchairs and wearing shawls.
Gray-haired Ashlynn Cogley shook as she walked with a cane.
The students also brought 100 of this and 100 of that to the school.
“We tie all kinds of activities in with our science, art, math, reading and history classes,” Fennell said. “They’ve done 100 projects.”
The students counted out 100 toy animals, 100 football cards, 100 gems, 100 marshmallows and 100 chocolate chips and put 100 quills on a porcupine. One made 100 muffins for her classmates, and they added 100 of every ingredient to a big pot of soup for lunch.
They read about “100 Hungry Ants,” decorated bulletin boards with things such as 100 creatures of the deep and 100 acts of kindness and made a 100-year time line.
“The San Francisco earthquake happened in 1906,” several students said.
Fennell even got in on the fun, dressing up as a schoolmarm.
“They look forward to this all week,” Fennell said. “They count down the days.”