02/05/13 — Feeling old and young again

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Feeling old and young again

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 5, 2013 1:46 PM

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Kindergartner Nick Jones, dressed as a 100-year-old man, listens to his teacher at Rosewood Elementary School. The pupils dressed and acted as if they were 100 years old to celebrate their 100th day of school on Monday.

Kindergartners are sometimes known for being wise beyond their years.

But anyone walking though the hallways at Rosewood Elementary School on Monday might have been a little surprised to see just how much the first-year students have "aged" since school began just five months ago.

One hundred days ago, to be exact.

In Wayne County Public Schools, it is customary to mark the 100th day.

"A lot of times, they'll just bring in items and they'll count to 100," said Lori Jones, media coordinator at the school. "The kindergarten teachers this year decided in addition to those activities, they would invite the classes to come in and dress like a 100-year-old."

Students could interpret that any way they chose.

For some, that meant marking their faces with deep creases and lines. Others walked slowly and deliberately to illustrate their senior status.

"My dad spray-painted my hair and gave me glasses," said Noah Willoughby, 5, whose outfit also included brown suspenders.

Katlyn Vernon, 5, her hair in a bun, wore a long brown skirt, a beige shawl draped around her shoulders.

"My mommy had this shawl for me," she said. "Mama helped me pick out the skirt."

She also carried a cane tipped in fluorescent green.

"My Gigi and grandaddy had it," she explained.

Six-year-old Micah Bell borrowed his fifth-grade brother's blue jeans, held up by suspenders, a dusting of powder on his head created gray in his black hair.

The classmates in Sadie Simmons' room enjoyed other activities in line with the theme, she said, including writing about what they would do if they had $100.

"I'd buy a big Barbie house," said Katlyn.

Nick Jones, a student in Germaine Knighton's class, wore a jaunty tweed cap, sports coat, tie and glasses.

"It was something I wanted to do," he said of the outfit.

He credited his mom with helping him create the look, which included gray sideburns.

Kindergarten teachers Amanda Minshew, Hope Porter and Jennifer Jenkins explained the effort that went into the occasion, celebrated annually around the county.

"We have been talking about the 100th day of school since the beginning of school," Ms. Minshew said. "One day we decided that we would do things around the number 100, we would dress up like we were 100 years old.

"We sent letters home with ideas and parents took it from there."

In addition to counting activities and a commemorative song about the day -- containing lyrics like, "What could you do now that you couldn't do on the first day of school?" -- the theme was also incorporated into snack time.

"They're going to make their own snacks, 10 of each -- pretzels, goldfish, cheeseballs -- to make one big 100 snack," said Ms. Porter.