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Students takes on roles of American leaders

Staff Writer [email protected]

Jonesborough Elementary School kindergartners were saying “Hail to the Chief!” Friday for their annual President’s Day celebration.

In attendance were Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Nancy Reagan and Donald

Trump, along with other former presidents. “We do this every year to celebrate President’s Day,” said kindergarten teacher Ann Conner. “It’s their first public speaking that they do. They enjoy it. And the parents, we just owe everything to the parents, because the kids have costumes and the parents practice with them at home.”

According to Conner, the children research the president they choose at home with their parents, and then they fill out a research pa- per that names their president, what number they were and an interesting fact that they discover about their president.

“It’s really fun and each class does this,” she said. “It’s just a really fun day.”

The children from each of the six kindergarten classes dressed up to look as close to his or her president as possible; some even donning beards and three-piece suits. The temporary leaders also speak to each other as if they are the presidents they are portraying.

This year, a few of the children decided they wanted to play another part of the history.

“Some of them wanted to dress up like the wives this year, so we have some Jackie Kennedys and Martha Washington and Michelle Obama,” Conner said. “They were so excited to get to choose who they wanted to be.”

Each one of the kindergarten teachers even dressed their part as secret service agents.

“We’ve been doing this, I believe, six or seven years. Maybe a little longer,” kindergarten teacher Brea- gan Kinnett said. “They get to pick whatever president they want after we spend a couple of days talking about presidents. They pick their president and then we spend the next two weeks talking about presidents and we wrap it up with this at the end.”

Kinnett added that this celebration happens every year the week of President’s Day.

And not only do the children dress up as presidents, but they draw pictures of them as well, with facts about each. These pictures then line the hallways outside of their classrooms.

“My favorite part is seeing that the kids become so invested in learning about the presidents, the past presidents and the current president and how much fun they have dressing up and finding out the fun facts about the presidents,” kindergarten teacher Carla Anderson said.

Each teacher had large monitors in their classrooms that displayed a back- drop of the Oval Office or the White House. And each room was decorated with the red, white and blue.

“It’s just one of my favorite days,” Conner said. “I look forward to it every year.”