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Kindergartners cap off the school year

One day before the class of 2017 graduates from Brainerd High School, the class of 2029 got their chance to march across Don Adamson Field at BHS. Kindergarteners in Brainerd Public Schools Thursday took part in the 31st annual Kinderfriend Day a...

Kindergartners play with parachutes Thursday during Kinderfriend Day at the Brainerd High School. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video)
Kindergartners play with parachutes Thursday during Kinderfriend Day at the Brainerd High School. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video)

One day before the class of 2017 graduates from Brainerd High School, the class of 2029 got their chance to march across Don Adamson Field at BHS.

Kindergarteners in Brainerd Public Schools Thursday took part in the 31st annual Kinderfriend Day at Don Adamson Field at Brainerd High School. The event recognizes the completion of the first year of elementary school.

Conditions were perfect Thursday, sunny and warm with not a cloud in the sky. Family members gathered in the bleachers and along the track as kindergarteners processed to "Pomp and Circumstance," played by BHS band members.

Students wore different colored T-shirts to differentiate which school they were from and waved to family members as they walked. Many of the T-shirts were too large for the students and hung down to their knees.

The event was started in 1986 by then-Riverside Elementary School Principal Cathy Nault, who is now the principal at Harrison Elementary School. The previous fall, the district had a mock graduation for the class of 2000. Nault suggested doing something similar every year for each future graduating class. The first Kinderfriend Day was a hit and has happened every year since, she said.

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Kinderfriend Day is larger than a graduation ceremony for kindergarteners at an individual school, Nault said. It gives parents a chance to see what a future graduating class looks like when the students are 5 and 6 years old, she said.

"It's so much fun when you see it when it's all of them together," Nault said.

For parents, their child's time going through school goes so fast, Nault said. Many parents feel like they blink their eyes and their child goes from Kinderfriend Day to high school graduation, she said. In Brainerd, both events take place in the same spot.

Kinderfriend Day is a little different from a standard commencement, Nault said. The students march onto the field to "Pomp and Circumstance," but because the students are kindergarteners, there are games and activities too.

"It's my favorite day of the year," Nault said.

For more photos go to https://goo.gl/kZ3YcY

McKenzie Kalla crawls through an obstacle course tunnel Thursday during Kinderfriend Day at Don Adamson Field in Brainerd. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video)
McKenzie Kalla crawls through an obstacle course tunnel Thursday during Kinderfriend Day at Don Adamson Field in Brainerd. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video)

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