Helena Elementary celebrates 100 Days

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

HELENA – On Friday, Jan. 28, the students of Helena Elementary School looked a lot older than they usually do. The students dressed up as 100-year-olds to celebrate their 100th day in school, a tradition that has always brought smiles to both parents and teachers.

“The kindergartners, they were walking around with grey hair going, ‘I’m a grandpa!’ and they had walkers and canes and glasses and it was just so adorable,” said HES Principal Genet Holcomb. “They all looked like little grandparents.”

Second grade did a theme of 100 Days Brighter with black light activities in the classroom, and they also played some special games involving counting. One teacher on the second grade hall even used the “old person filter” with their phone to take pictures of the elderly students.

“They also did a fun writing project where the kids had to write a response to ‘When I am 100 years old I will…’” Holcomb said. “And they were just hilarious. One child said they would ‘watch Golden Girls and act carelessly.’”

The 100 Days serves as a fun way for the students to get excited about school and, according to Holcomb, the students love being able to incorporate what they’ve learned about number recognition into the themed festivities.

“Especially in learning counting and number recognition, part of the calendar time in kindergarten especially, they count every day,” Holcomb said. “As they count every day, they add on to see what day of school they’re on.”

“It’s kind of an all-encompassing thing where it helps them learn the days of the week and number recognition and learning the seasons,” Holcomb said. “That’s been around a long time and they are able to use that more and more with math concepts.”

Shelby County Schools made the announcement on Thursday, Jan. 20 that they would be going back to remote learning beginning Friday, Jan. 21, and schools resumed in-person learning on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Holcomb said being able to celebrate the 100 Days in-person means everything.

“The point of [100 Days] is it builds such enthusiasm for school,” she said. “There’s a limit to what you can do virtually to build that enthusiasm. Especially in elementary school, there has to be this love of learning, and loving learning means you’re having fun while you’re doing it.”

Holcomb continued that education looks very different than it did when she first started her career, but the students’ eagerness to learn makes it continuously enjoyable.

“They keep coming through the door excited and ready to learn, and by celebrating and encouraging their goals and learning through this themed thing, it’s more exciting to them and it engages them more,” she said.

Friday, Jan. 28 was also National Have Fun at Work Day, which according to Holcomb played right into the 100 Days festivities.

“It’s so special and rewarding to see them look back and say, ‘I’m 100 days smarter,’ and to see all that they’ve learned,” she said. “If we’re not having fun with what we’re doing, then we’re probably not doing a good job of it, and the same goes for kids.”