NANTICOKE — A chance to win a new bicycle was the featured prize at the K.M. Smith Elementary School carnival.
That’s the good news.
The sad news is that the school that opened in 1930 will close its doors for good on June 13.
So as the final school year winds down, teachers and administrators decided to hold a carnival — “End of an Era” — Friday for the 408 students in pre-K, kindergarten and first grade.
“We wanted to celebrate the school and how long it’s been in the community,” said Donna Redenski, who teaches library. “The children are having a great time.”
For the 2018-19 school year, students will attend the Kennedy Early Childhood Center on the district’s campus off Kosciusko Street. With that move, all Greater Nanticoke Area students will be on the same campus.
Redenski said the carnival featured a bounce house, a slide, an obstacle course, various games, Italian ice, and raffles for the students to win a bicycle. She said one boy and one girl would win a new bike. Each student was given one ticket for the raffle, she said. Scooters were also raffled off, as well as Slip ‘n Slide games.
Corey Wojciechowski has taught kindergarten at K.M. Smith for 18 years. She also attended the school.
“This is an emotional time for everybody, especially when you’ve been here as long as I have,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s exciting in a way, but disheartening to see the doors close. We are like a family here.”
The school operated as a K-6 elementary for most of its existence. It became an elementary center for kindergarten through fifth grade a few years ago before being turned into a primary center for pre-K, kindergarten and first grade.
Teachers Angela Sager and Pamela Coleman and building secretary Marge Womelsdorf said the school has many unique features and a big outdoor area for students to enjoy.
“We have lots of space here,” Womelsdorf said. “And it’s beautiful.”
Womelsdorf attended K.M. Smith, too, and she has been the secretary for 20 years.
“Yes, it’s very emotional to see this school close,” she said. “It’s emotional whether you are a student, a teacher or an employee.”
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.