DEMOTTE, Ind. — DeMotte Elementary School kindergarteners celebrated the end of the school year and becoming first-graders during the inaugural Kindy 500 on Wednesday, May 26.

The parking lot at DeMotte Elementary School was transformed into a race track with black and white checkered flags and orange hazard cones. The students provided the cardboard vehicles that were mobilized with their feet.

“We decided at the beginning of this year that we were going to do everything possible to make COVID not happen in our room and in our kindergartens. We tried to make it as normal as possible with field trips and we wanted to end the year in a special way,” said kindergarten teacher Sally Molenaar.

Molenaar said the majority of the parents helped their students decorate their vehicles as every student had a cardboard vehicle to race with. The vehicles included school buses, race cars, princess carriages, ambulances and semi-trucks. The vehicles were carried by the students with straps or pool noodles.

“Everybody was super positive about it, even our principals,” Molenaar said about the event. “We wanted to do it for years and this year we made it happen.”

Luke, who is a student in Molenaar’s class, said he was excited about the race. His vehicle was inspired by Fortnite. When asked if he was able to decorate his vehicle, Luke said, “I helped.”

While students ran around the track, they were cheered on by their peers and an announcer gave commentary on how the drivers were racing. As the drivers crossed the finish line two checkered flags were waved. Students were then directed to the carwash made of pool noodles, streamers and bubbles.

There were almost 150 kindergarteners at DeMotte Elementary School.

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