FORT HOOD — Some small supporters brought a huge dose of encouragement through the hallways of Meadows Elementary School on the eve of state testing Monday.

The school’s 3-year-old prekindergarten students in career costumes and handmade vests jingled noisemakers and waved glow sticks as they rode tricycles or walked through the fourth- and fifth-grade hallways as older students and their teachers cheered.

Prekindergarten teachers held signs wishing the older students the best on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests, which began this week.

“I thought it was kind of cute,” said fourth-grader Autumn Springfield, still smiling at the end of the parade. “I liked how they were dressed up and the posters they made.”

Fourth-, fifth-, seventh- and eighth-graders took portions of the STAAR on Tuesday and continue today.

Fifth-grade teacher Railynne Welch said the encouragement was important for the students taking the tests.

“I thought it was wonderful,” she said. “It’s not about being stressed, but about staying calm and it’s awesome to see the support.”

Prekindergarten through second-grade classes adopted the fourth- and fifth-grade classes to encourage during testing week.

“All the younger classes have their buddy class to say good luck,” Principal Sara Watson said. “We want them to feel the love from the campus. We’re a family and this is family support.”

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