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Kindergarten students at Bob Hope Primary School on Kadena Air Base line up and prepare to race 100 feet as they celebrated the 100th day of school Friday.
Kindergarten students at Bob Hope Primary School on Kadena Air Base line up and prepare to race 100 feet as they celebrated the 100th day of school Friday. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Kindergarten students at Bob Hope Primary School on Kadena Air Base line up and prepare to race 100 feet as they celebrated the 100th day of school Friday.
Kindergarten students at Bob Hope Primary School on Kadena Air Base line up and prepare to race 100 feet as they celebrated the 100th day of school Friday. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Bob Hope Primary School kindergarten student Riley Cullen shows off his 100th-day-of-school hat and shirt.
Bob Hope Primary School kindergarten student Riley Cullen shows off his 100th-day-of-school hat and shirt. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Kindergarten students stamp 100 dots onto a dog drawing.
Kindergarten students stamp 100 dots onto a dog drawing. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Students jump in a bouncer and counted to 100 by fives — a favorite activity of many of the children.
Students jump in a bouncer and counted to 100 by fives — a favorite activity of many of the children. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
Students wore a list of 100-related activities that were individually crossed off as their class completed them.
Students wore a list of 100-related activities that were individually crossed off as their class completed them. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)

KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Kindergarten pupils at Bob Hope Primary School here celebrated the 100th day of school Friday by having a lot of fun and learning about the number 100 at the same time.

This is the seventh year the eight kindergarten classes at the school have held a “100 Day,” which consists of games and activities that have the students counting to the big number, according to kindergarten teacher Renae Parker.

“We weren’t planning on this becoming an annual thing … we didn’t mean for it to be and every year we say we’re not doing it again,” Parker said. “But parents always ask us if we’re doing it and kids who have had brothers and sisters in our classes say they can’t wait for 100s day.”

And it’s not just kids having all the fun. Parker said the whole school gets involved and many parents come out for the event, as do active-duty members who volunteer at the school. An off-base kindergarten class of 16 also attended this year’s activities.

“We do something similar to this, but not on the grand scale that they do it here,” said New Life Academy principal Charles Elofson, whose school’s enrollment is 75 percent Japanese. “It’s good for all the children to interact with each other … their lives are enriched by the interaction.”

Some of the activities during the three-hour festivities included: air bouncing to 100, counting by fives and 10s; running 100 yards; riding a tricycle 100 feet; swatting “flies” — paper flies with numbers on them — by fives to 100; and licking a lollipop 100 times — a favorite. Pupils even had homework before the event, which involved making a 100-day T-shirt. Pupils wrote a list of events on sheets of paper pinned to their shirt that were crossed off as they completed them.

Riley Cullen, 5, said jumping in the air bounce as he counted to 100 by fives was his favorite activity. He also said he learned there are many ways to count to 100 and that it’s “a big number.”

Parker said the teachers simply take their math curriculum and turn it into fun activities. She also said it’s a fun way to show off to parents.

“It’s a big thing for kids to learn to count to 100 … a big accomplishment for them,” she said. “It’s also a great way to let the parents see how they learn.”

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