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100 days smarter

Godwin Heights – Kindergartner Alessandro Mendoza Ozuna walked into his West Godwin Elementary class swinging a little white gift bag. Teacher Christina VanderVelde had no idea just how special the gift would be.

Kindergartner Alessandro Mendoza Ozuna gave teacher Christina VanderVelde a 100 days shirt (courtesy)

“Here is little something for you, Mrs. VanderVelde,” he said as he handed her the bag. VanderVelde opened it and pulled out a blue T-shirt that read: “I’ve loved my class for 100 days.”

“I have one too,” Alessandro said, pointing to his own, which read: “Level 100 days of school completed.”

“My eyes welled up with tears upon seeing the super thoughtful gift that I would be able to use for many years to come,” VanderVelde wrote later in an email.

A Big Number

Making it to the 100th day of school is often marked during the elementary school year.

West Godwin teacher Libby Kooster had a special message for her first-graders on Feb. 5, the 100th day of school (courtesy)

“It is a milestone, being able to add that third digit and move into that next place value,” said kindergarten teacher Lynn Bradford. “In kindergarten, one of our common goals is to be able to count to a 100 by tens. In first grade, the students need to count to a 100 by fives.”

Bradford’s students worked in pairs to draw 10 things that were used to create a paper quilt of 100. The students also watched a video featuring musician Jack Hartmann as he counted to a hundred while students danced and played along.

First-graders in Libby Klooster’s class walked through a doorway streamer that announced they were 100 days smarter. There also were 100-second activities such as reading and jumping, and jars in the hallway filled with different items. Students who guessed correctly which one contained exactly 100 won the contents of the jar.

West Godwin students participated in a variety of activities for the 100th day, such as listening to a Jack Hartmann video (courtesy)
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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma covers Kent ISD and Godwin Heights. She was born in the Detroit area but grew up in Brighton where she attended Hartland Public Schools. The salutatorian for the Class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism and minored in photography and German. She expanded her color palette to include orange and black as both her daughters graduated from Byron Center Public Schools; maroon and white for Aquinas College where her daughter studies nursing and also brought back blue and maize for Grand Rapids Community College where her youngest daughter currently is studying music. Read Joanne's full bio

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