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‘King of the Leap Year Parade’


Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center second-grader Eviel Alvarez-Martinez was named Leap Year King on Feb. 29 to celebrate his second real birthday.

While Eviel is 8 years old, his true birthdate only falls on the calendar every four years, so teacher Sue Sheets-Odo wanted a big celebration.

Students throughout the entire school participated in a Leap Year parade, hopping like frogs through the halls. “Leap, leap, leap!” they sang.

To prepare, Odo’s students studied different frog species, life-cycles and habitats and the astronomical science behind Leap Year. They made frog masks decorated in the colors of blue-eyed tree frogs, poison-dart frogs and other brilliantly hued amphibians.

Odo also wrote a book titled, “The King of the Leap Year Parade,” which teachers read to their classes before the celebration.

Eviel has mixed feeling about his birthday. “It’s sad because it comes only every four years…but that’s when I get a lot of presents!”

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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