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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Kids know the meaning Easter - and their furry friend, too

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Preschool students Gabriel Hamra, Seth Arnold and Megan Porter compare Easter eggs.
SIKESTON -- She may be only 7 years old, but Abi Reese has a pretty good idea of what Easter is all about.

"It's about Jesus, and he rose from the tomb," Abi said. "That day Mary Magdalene went with another friend and they didn't see Jesus in his tomb. And there was an earthquake, and it made the rock move to open the tomb."

Debra Pollock, a first grade teacher at St. Francis Xavier School in Sikeston, said learning about the meaning of Easter isn't above her students' heads.

"Because religion is incorporated every day in our school, it's not difficult for them to understand. We build on it.

Throughout the Lenten season, Pollock said she discussed stories related to Easter such as Palm Sunday and the Passion. Her students were even given a spelling test with Easter-related words.

"We had to spell Eucharist!" Abi said.

While students can comprehend about the Easter season, it doesn't mean they don't get confused from time to time. In one discussion, her students confused the words portray and betray -- which change the story completely, Pollock said.

"They thought Judas portrayed Jesus so I had to stop and explain the difference between betray and portray," Pollock laughed.

Ellie Retz, a first grader at St. Francis Xavier School, said Easter is the day Jesus rose from the dead.

"And there's the Easter Bunny," Ellie said. "He brings candy and stuffed animals and chocolate bunnies and jelly beans and eggs and sometimes money."

Ellie said she thinks the Easter Bunny begins preparing for the spring holiday in January and sets his alarm clock so he can get up Easter morning.

"I would think he's probably a big bunny rabbit and carries big baskets," Ellie said. "He goes 'under' disguise in a human costume to buy his candy in stores."

Ellie thinks the Easter Bunny, who is about 50 years old, has bunny workers who help him. To make eggs, he uses a big machine and lays all the eggs on it, and the machine paints the eggs, she said.

Usually early Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny, who is "20 or 10," hops out and lays all the eggs out, Ellie said. He comes at 5 a.m., she added.

"He drives a bunny mobile," Ellie said. "He's got to be sneaky because if the kids wake up, they will tackle him."

Ellie admitted she's tried to see the Easter Bunny but always misses him so she planned to get to bed extra early Saturday.

"This year I'm really in the mood for it," Ellie said about Easter.

One tradition Semo Christian Academy kindergartner Annie Enslor said she likes best is dyeing Easter eggs, she said.

"It's a family thing and we get some dye and dye eggs," Annie said.

Annie also likes the eggs the Easter Bunny brings. "I believe in the Easter Bunny. He leaves a basket with candy and sometimes stuffed animals. He comes and brings eggs, and they're sparkly and pretty, and me and my sissy like them," Annie said.

Brylie Noe, 6, also a kindergartner at Semo Christian Academy in Sikeston, admitted she has never seen the real Easter Bunny, but she does believe he exists.

"I think his name is Peter Cottontail because I saw it on an Easter movie," Brylie said. "The other day I saw him but it was not the real one."

Brylie said the movie she watched was a true story.

The Easter Bunny probably has pink ears, white fur and a fluffy tail, Brylie continued. "And he has a black spot around his eye," Brylie said as she made circular motion around her eye. "He has a wife and a kid named Junior, and he lives in April Valley."

The Easter Bunny lays his eggs and hides them, and children get to find them, she said.

But Brylie also knows a little more about Easter. When asked if there was anything else special about Easter besides the Easter Bunny, she said: "I think it's when we celebrate Jesus."