HPA’s Lower School parking lot could have easily been mistaken for a retirement home late last week, as a horde of first-graders disguised as centenarians made their way into the classroom.
The glimpse into the very distant future that featured white hair, canes, and glasses was all part of a festive celebration by the kindergarten, first and second-grade classes, who were recognizing that they had made it through 100 days of school. As first-grade teacher Teri Chong ’82 explained, it’s a massive occasion for the youngest HPA students.
“They are very inquisitive about numbers—large numbers especially,” first-grade teacher Teri Chong ’82 said. “From Day 1 of school, we track every day. So it’s a big deal to make 100 days.”
All the students count down to the 100th day through various tasks. They bundle sticks, use clocks and even add up money, trading in their ten hard-earned dimes for a dollar on the final day.
“Before 100 days, a dime was a big ‘marker stone.’ But a dollar — that’s even better,” Noah, a first-grade student, explained. The buildup for the day was intense, as Noah pointed out, saying the class was “out of sorts” as they counted down the minutes on Day 99.
Once the celebration arrived, there were a variety of ways for students to commemorate the century mark. They could run a 100-yard sprint, make a necklace with 100 fruit loops, or even see what they would look like at 100 years old on an iPad. But the biggest hit was the snacks, as the eager students loaded up their baggies with a variety of tasty treats.
“The snacks are the best part of the day,” kindergartener Delmar exclaimed.