Superhero Helps Children Learn To Count

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Look -- out there on the playground, it's a bird, it's a plane--no, it's Zero Hero!

While Wonder Woman uses her golden bracelets to fend off bullets, the Payson Unified School District's signature superhero battles ignorance with her super powers.

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Daniel White, left, Zero Hero, center and Abby Clark are in Ms. Cademartori's class at Frontier Elementary School. Zero popped in for a surprise visit and had the children doing various math exercises.

Resplendent in her blue cape and diamond-encrusted mask, Zero Hero made an appearance Tuesday morning, Jan. 22 at Frontier Elementary School in Lydia Cademartori's kindergarten class to celebrate the 100th day of school.

The 100th day of school is important, not only to Zero Hero and the kindergartners, but to the district as well.

The 100th day of school average attendance is what the Arizona Department of Education uses to calculate how much money the Payson Unified School District will receive for the 2008-2009 school year.

Zero Hero's super power is using zero to help kids learn how to use the decimal system to count.

Students used the 100th day of school theme to count various things in groups of 100.

For example, one of the exercises included a drawing of a cowboy hat divided into 10 parts.

Students had to put 10 different symbols, like dots, smiley faces or anything they wanted, in the 10 spots on the hat so they would add up to 100.

They also used Fruity Cheerios to make multicolored necklaces and counted out peanuts and peanut butter crackers to total 100 different items for their mid-day snack.

Jesus Cesena said he likes making the necklaces from Fruity Cheerios best.

"I like them the best because after I'm done---I get to eat them," said Cesena.

Zero Hero spent about 15 minutes asking students questions relating to the number 100 since Tuesday was the one-hundredth day of school.

She asked questions like, "What kind of food can you eat 100 pieces of?" and "What would you like to have 100 items of?"

Answers ranged from Liberty Fain's ambition to own 100 ponies to others saying they could eat 100 M&M's or 100 pieces of turkey or cookies.

" I could eat 100 pieces of chicken," said Shyanne Shill.

Cailey Van Buren answered with, "I could eat 100 pieces of cereal."

Zero Hero made sure all of the youngsters in Cademartori's class got involved with the day's theme.

When asked what his favorite part of having Zero hero come to class is, one precocious kindergartner said the snacks are his favorite.

"My favorite thing about Zero Hero coming is that when she comes to our class ---she brings things we can eat," said kindergartner Cailey Van Buren.

Cadermartori said Zero Hero is an invaluable tool in helping kindergartners learn the basics of counting.

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