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Grand Rapids elementary school students make way for ducklings

Apr 20, 2018

It might not be Pamplona, but the annual "Running of the Ducks" at Ken-O-Sha Park Elementary School in Grand Rapids is its own time-honored tradition. 

This Friday, students and teachers gathered in the hallways to watch as a mother duck marched her ducklings to water for the first time.

The mother duck nests in the school's courtyard every year. When spring comes, she leads her babies through the school and into the woods a few hundred yards away.  

Several students held signs guiding the ducks through the hallway. Others sat still, trying to remain as quiet as possible.

Ken-O-Sha Park has been doing the same duckling parade every year for decades. Principal Stephanie Villalta says it's as exciting for kids who’ve already seen it as it is for those experiencing their very first "Running of the Ducks." 

“I think the kids who have been here year after year after year are just as excited as a kid who is seeing this for the first time because they want to know : will it be the same as last year?” Villalta said. 

Villalta, who has been at Ken-O-Sha Park for the past five years, says the school plans on keeping the tradition alive because the kids get a lot out of it. 

“It ties into something they learned or are currently learning,” she said.