This year marked the 40th anniversary of kindergarten students beginning the school year in the Westfield Public Schools by wearing a personalized wooden apple necklace. More than 12,000 of them have been worn by kindergarten children like Lincoln School students (l-r) Charles Blessing, Hale Cozewith and Ariana Keith. Very often, the wooden apples on a string of yarn are held in safekeeping by families and worn again when the student attends commencement ceremonies at Westfield High School.

The tradition actually began in Lincoln School, which served as an elementary school at the time, and soon was followed by all of Westfield's elementary schools. Since 2008 Lincoln has been completely renovated as a centralized kindergarten for Westfield's youngest learners. The apple necklace project is administered by the Lincoln PTO, whose coordinator this year was Donna Kenney.