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A number of Hardin County preschool students participated Thursday in a Run for the Roses of their own.
Children, faculty and parents gathered in the Heartland Elementary School gymnasium as each “heat” raced around the track. Heartland hosted a morning and afternoon derby so more students could race. Various classes from five elementary schools — Creekside, Rineyville, G.C. Burkhead, Lincoln Trail and Heartland — were present.
Preceding the races, teachers volunteered to demonstrate a lap around the race track and then “My Old Kentucky Home” played through the speakers followed by the call to the post in authentic Kentucky-Derby style. One student from each class ran in a single heat. Each heat winner was awarded a red rose from Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger.
The students each created their own derby horse either during class or at home with their family. Students named their horses something unique.
“We told them to each make their own horses and that they could use any kind of materials they wanted for it,” said Carla Simpson, instructional assistant at G.C. Burkhead Elementary. “This was (an assignment) we sent to their families at home so they could make it together.”
Horses were made from materials such as broomsticks, socks, pool noodles and construction paper. Aside from making their horses, students had their own favorite part of the derby.
“My favorite part about racing is when I passed No. 1,” said Ava Kortz, a Heartland preschooler, about her and her derby horse, Daring Doo Dazzle.
For Heartland student Kalia Corbit, 4, the derby is less about competition and more about accessory.
“I love the horses and roses,” Kalia said.
Heartland Elementary has not always hosted a preschool derby, said Maryjane Boes, preschool teacher and coordinator.
“This is our first year,” she said. “The idea came from the old Parkway Elementary School and so we decided to have our own derby on our side of the county so more schools could participate without traveling very far.”
Boes said instructors teach their students about the Kentucky Derby because it is a big part of Kentucky’s culture.
Anna Taylor can be reached at 270-505-1747 or email@example.com.