Animals were on the march at Baldwinsville Nursery School as students participated in the school's first ABC Animal Parade.
On June 10, students in the morning and afternoon 4-year-old classes celebrated the end of the school year by marching up and down the halls carrying animal puppets and singing, "Here come the animals, marching, marching..."
After the parade, the children treated friends and family to a puppet show and sang several songs showcasing each letter of the alphabet.
Many of the puppets were donated by Mr. and Mrs. John Snedeker, in memory of their daughter, Gretchen. Gretchen, a lifetime resident of Baldwinsville, had a passion for both animals and theater, making the parade a perfect tribute to her memory.
Julie Dillon, director and head teacher, said the puppets served as the perfect learning tool and helped even the shyest children "come out of their shells."
"Children are fascinated by puppets, and interact strongly with them," she said. "This can help them overcome their shyness and engage in a greater use of speech. The interaction also encourages concentration and use of the imagination. We're truly lucky to have these puppets as a learning tool, and I look forward to using them in the future."
Dillon said the event was enjoyed by all and served as a great end-of-the year review for the children.
"We had a great time," she said, "staff included. The kids put a lot of work into the event, and it was wonderful to see them beaming with pride as they paraded their puppets around the school. It really proved that learning can go beyond the classroom."