Dec 21, 2010 6:31 PM by Dan Boyce

Bozeman schools let out for winter break

Bozeman school kids survived the long wait for holiday freedom. The district let out for winter break Tuesday.

That last day before break is not really the time to work on the heavy academic stuff.

"Kindergartners are focused on Christmas, Santa Claus and gingerbread houses," said Emily Dickinson kindergarten teacher Kristin Poulsen. Her class spent a portion of the day constructing their own gingerbread houses over the top of small milk cartons.

"I have a bunch of chimneys, right there," said 5-year-old Aidan, pointing to gum drops on the top of his carton.

Then the meticulous graham cracker masons became chilly little gymnasts, enjoying a short recess outside. There was a lot of play going on; letting loose and venting steam before the days biggest responsibility. The kids soon needed to prepare for an old seasonal staple, the holiday program. As time ticked closer to the concert, it became strictly business.

The kids had been working on their three songs for weeks. Poulsen said days like this create long held memories.

"I do remember the programs and remember practicing and being really nervous actually," Poulsen said.

The fourth graders finished their recorder recital and the kindergarteners were next, strutting penguin-style to the stage.

"They really do work hard and they take it seriously, and they get up there and they're little performers," Poulsen said.

"It really brings her out of her shell," said 6-year-old Olivia's mother, Jeana Gaskill. "I watched the first program today and you wouldn't know she was a shy girl."

An early gift of Christmas confidence before some well-deserved time off.

Winter break lasts through Jan. 3.


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