Wearing a headband in the hottest shade of pink, Kylee Langeneger stands on her tiptoes and presses her nose against the window before tugging open the door. She skips across the room and sits down next to a pink-and-white plaid backpack stitched with her name and announces that she must first drink a cup of orange Gatorade before talking about school.
“My brain has to fire up first,” says the soon-to-be first-grader. “I knew you were going to ask me questions, so I wanted a drink that would help.”
She unzips her backpack, stuffed with paper dolls, drawings, folders and other kindergarten treasures,
locates a blank sheet of paper and begins to sketch a newspaper.
“Being in an interview made me want to draw this,” Kylee says. “In kindergarten, we did a lot of drawing, a lot of reading, a lot of writing and a lot of gluing. At the end of kindergarten, we got to have a graduation party. Our teacher gave us cookies with our names on them and a book of pictures of everything we did all day long.”
Minutes later, she’s got the book in hand and is thumbing through the pages, giving a play-by-play on each photo.
“For Thanksgiving, we took our hand and dipped it in tan paint and put it on a white T-shirt to make turkeys,” she says. “We had a pet week and kids brought goldfish, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs and cats. Sabrina (my sister) let me bring Summer, my dog. We also had a Teddy Bear Breakfast and ate with our teddy bears and parents.”
Kylee has three goals for first grade: creating a kitty cat out of tissue paper in one day, learning multiplication and reading “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.”
“First grade is going to be like learning something new every day,” she says. “I’m not scared. I am going to miss my friends and my teacher — she was special.”
FAVORITE SCHOOL MEMORY
I think it was when me and my best friend (Sofia Boyle) first started chasing Sofia’s best friend that’s a boy. She was like, ‘Hey, my friend is here, let’s go chase him!’ Well, I kept surrounding him and I was like, ‘Sofia, I’ve got him now.’ She pushed him on the swing. When we weren’t looking, Chase got out of the swing and ran away!