SPRINGFIELD TWP. Many people know the story of the "Three Little Kittens They Lost Their Mittens," part of the Mother Goose Collection, but for 78 kindergarteners from Young Elementary School, it was about a little girl losing her mitten during a program on Feb. 15.

Parents, grandparents and siblings filled the Springfield Junior/Senior High School auditorium to watch the kindergarteners tell the story "The Mitten," based on a traditional Ukrainian folktale.

In the story, a girl named Nikki asks her Baba (grandmother) to make her some snow white mittens. Baba reluctantly made the white mittens and it was not long until Nikki dropped one in the snow and walked away. Several animals including a fox, owls, bears, raccoons, a badger, wolves, rabbits and a hedgehog find the mitten and climb in it to get out of the cold. After several animals are in the mitten, it becomes very crowded. A tiny mouse asks to climb in and the animals decide that she wouldn't take up too much room and let her in. When the mouse climbs in, she tickles the bear's nose and causes him to sneeze and the mitten pops and the animals hop away.  

During the program, the children sang songs and acted out the story dressed in costumes as the animals while Kindergarten student teacher Nicole Heckman narrated the story. Music Teacher Michael Green prepared the students with the songs and the families made the costumes.

Kindergarten teacher Christie Hubert said all of the kindergaten classes studied the story in preparation for the performance. Kindergarten teachers are Hubert, Beth Burgess, Jennifer Hoskin and Emma Goubeaux.

"It’s always so exciting to see these students perform in their very first program as kindergarteners," said Young Principal Jennifer Ganzer. "They have so many years ahead of them in which they will have so many more opportunities to find out what they are passionate about and grow up to be the future leaders in this community."