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More kindergartners eyeing Park Rapids

Future kindergartner Dylan Moore gets a badge from teacher Jody Bettin Friday at Century School's Kindergarten Round-Up Day. Parents and kids got a preview of what school will be like this fall. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)1 / 2
Kindergarten teacher Nicole Brandt reads a book to a group of future students Friday at Century School. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)2 / 2

Young Park Rapids area children got a taste of kindergarten Friday at Century School's Round-up Day.

Parents arrived with their future kindergartners during two sessions Friday. Teachers and administrators were pleased with the turnout this year, with 101 kids signed up.

Superintendent Glenn Chiodo said that's the most children that have been signed up on Kindergarten Round-Up Day in Park Rapids since he came to the district in 2003. The district usually has additional kids enroll throughout the summer, he said.

During Friday's introduction to kindergarten parents and children split up for separate orientations.

Kindergarten teachers showed the future students the classrooms, read them a book and helped them work on a craft project.

Nicole Brandt read "If You Take a Mouse to School" to an enthusiastic group of kids. Brianne Morris, another kindergarten teacher, introduced the kids to Clifford the Big Red Dog.

While students were learning about their "pod" of classrooms, parents were learning about other aspects of Century School.

Principal Bruce Gravalin gave an overview about Century and what makes it special.

"What separates us from others?" he asked them. "This building was designed with safety in mind."

The pod system, which separates each grade of students, is like a "school within a school," he said.

Also, there is only one unlocked entrance into the school and video surveillance, Gravalin said.

Parents had an opportunity to visit with people from various departments in the school, including health services, transportation, food service, Title One services, reading, after school programs and the Parent Teacher Association.

Gravalin stressed that fine arts and physical education are important aspects of a child's education in Park Rapids. Also, students will have a music class and learn computer skills.

"Activity is important," he said. "Not all schools have phys ed every day. Here, each student gets 30 minutes a day."

After a brief taste of what kindergarten will be like, these future students are looking forward to fall when they can attend school on a regular basis.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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