One year down, 12 to go.
Close to 500 kindergartners from the Brainerd School District filled Don Adamson Field to graduate Wednesday during the 14th annual Kinderfriend Day.
"It is a fun closure day for the kids," said Judith Hartman, kindergarten teacher at Baxter School. "It gives them a chance to see all their classmates and have fun."
Elementary teachers gave the students colored T-shirts, a different color for each school so parents and students knew which school students attended.
Judith Hartman spent her last day of teaching at the Kinderfriend Day on Wednesday at Don Adamson Field. Hartman is retiring this year as a Baxter School kindergarten teacher. (Dispatch Photo by Paul Burton)
The kindergartners sang with Ted Feyder, from the Area Learning Center, for their parents. They sang "100 Little Ducks" and "If You're Happy and You Know It." The students also danced to a Swedish melody and then went off to play games.
Most kindergartners said they were excited to be advancing to first grade.
"I want to be older," said Dominick Granholm of Family of Christ.
Other students didn't know why they were excited; they just were.
Students also shared what they have learned in kindergarten. Jenna Murphy of Whittier School said she learned how to read somewhat. Classmate Shealyn Durbin learned the alphabet.
"I learned the primary colors and the signs for yes and no," said Jorgen Bjerkness of Whittier School. "I forgot everything else I learned."
Jared Stearns, Garfield School, mastered a Mother's Day play and said he knows how to count to 2,000. His classmate, Devenea Hallada, said she learned to count to 100.
Samantha Smelter of Baxter School said she learned the alphabet and how to count high in numbers by 10s. Mikaela Martinson, Garfield School, said she knows how to make frogs out of paper.
"I can do homework," said Ashlee Knutson of Lowell School. "I worked on a boat and had to get sharks around it."
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