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June 15, 2021

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

KANNAPOLIS – Excited elementary school students lined the hallways at G.W. Carver Elementary on Thursday to cheer on A.L. Brown High School seniors as they took a stroll down memory lane in their caps and gowns.

The elementary kids waved signs as the seniors walked past. They took some of the signs as well so they could wave them back on their second lap around the school. The occasion was that the school year’s calendar was near its end. Seniors visited every elementary school in groups for an annual event known as the Wonder Walks. In most cases, the seniors took a trip back in time to their former elementary school.

The event was canceled the previous school year because of the pandemic. A.L. Brown Assistant Principal Mauricio Restrepo said the walks were on the chopping block this year around spring break, but the school pulled it together.

“We wanted to make sure we gave the elementary schools something to look forward to and also our seniors the opportunity to visit,” Restrepo said.

None of the students had been back to the school since they attended. They said the hallways felt small, but the atmosphere was the same.

Katerin Mejia attended Carver after she moved to the United States from Honduras. She did not know English and said she felt welcome at the school.

“My classmates and my teachers, they made it easy for me,” Mejia said.

After a year at Carver, Mejia was still learning, but she could keep up.

“I feel like Kannapolis is my home,” Mejia said.

James Judge said the walk was fun, and the elementary kids seemed to enjoy it as much as the seniors.

“It put a smile on my face,” senior Ciera Simmons said.

Restrepo said the seniors are happy to have a sense of normalcy coming back to their lives. Thursday’s event gave them the opportunity to show younger students they can reach the end of the 13-year road of a basic education.

“I think it is also is a really good thing for the younger kids in Kannapolis to get to say, ‘Hey, this is what I get to look forward to. I get to do my Wonder walk when I get older,’ ” Restrepo said.

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