The first day of school is picture day for hundreds of Joplin kindergarten students.
Every kindergarten student posed with Joplin Schools Superintendent CJ Huff. After each picture, each student was presented with a free book.
Those photos will be matted with the students graduation year - 2025.
The tradition is part of an effort to get kids and their parents looking to the future and realizing that graduation matters.
"Showing them the importance of being at school, having the superintendent come in, shaking their hand, taking a picture and saying 'we'll give this to you when you graduate'; saying 'you will graduate, you are important and you will succeed here,'" says Cecil Floyd Elementary Principal Gayle Hennessey.
"We've got a graduation rate issue," says Dr Huff. "We're working really hard on that and it's never too early to start talking to your kids about graduating from high school."
Huff added a knee pad this year, learning from experience the pains of taking hundreds of pictures in a day.
After today's photo sessions, Huff says he believes he's taken 3,000 pictures with kindergartners since he started work here in 2008.
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