Deciding that she needed a year to explore and find herself before starting 6th grade, a local 5th grader took a gap year to travel to a map of Europe drawn on the ground with sidewalk chalk.
“I think it’s important to see the world while I’m still young,” said Carrie Hendricks. “I need to carve my own path, unhindered from society’s standards of ‘middle school’ and ‘homework.'”
Hendricks says broadening her horizons away from familiar sidewalk chalk drawings like maps of the United States and hopscotch will help her become a more open-minded citizen before moving on to middle school.
“We’re seeing a lot more American kids taking a gap year after 5th grade,” said teacher Lindsay Bowers. “Grinding it out through 6 or 7 years of elementary school can cause a lot of students to burn out. Exploring sidewalk chalk maps of Europe or Asia-themed playgrounds can really help them mentally reset.”
At press time, Hendricks had spent her last dollar on a Choco Taco from the ice cream man and was begging her parents to wire her money.