With 11 years and thousands of miles of schoolbus driving under her belt, Priscilla Cade knows the recipe for a kindergartener’s first bus ride.
Sit near the front. Face forward. Use your inside voice.
“The kids are so fascinated with riding the bus that they’re not nervous,” Cade said. “It’s more about reassuring the parents.”
The Wake County Public School System kicked off the new school year with a day-long event at Marbles Kids Museum designed to ready the Class of 2028 for its first day of school.
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Rising kindergarteners rode on a school bus, stomped on stomp rockets, signed up for library cards, made trial runs through a lunch line and attended their first of many morning meetings.
Sarah Manwaring said her 5-year-old, Colin, was chomping at the bit to start school at Wendell Elementary.
“He’s psyched,” she said. “He’s totally ready.”
Making his rounds at Marbles, Colin kicked off his educational career with a small collection of swag: stickers, a small ice cream scoop and a pair of Angry Birds sunglasses to protect his eyes on the playground.
Fahimi Kitindi said she was ready to get the school year underway at A.B. Combs Elementary.
What did she want to do in kindergarten?
“Play with sand!”
Her mother, Magreth Mushi, smiled skeptically: “Is that all you are going to do?”
Later, during the morning meeting, Fahimi showed that sand wasn’t her only interest, as she sang and shimmied to a rousing group version of the classic “Five Little Monkeys” and their encounter with Mr. Alligator.
But not all kindergarteners needed preparation.
Gabriel Blake is a veteran student, with three weeks of schooling behind him at Lake Myra Elementary, a year-round school in Wendell.
Gabriel walks into school by himself, likes gym class and has already set his eyes on a goal and role in fifth grade, according to his father, Douglas Blake.
“He really likes the Safety Patrol,” the fifth-graders who look out for the little kids in the school, Blake said. “He says he’s interested in joining them.”