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Students in Manatee celebrating on last day of school (with photo gallery)

EAST MANATEE -- It looked more like a summer beach party than a day at school.

Freedom Elementary students spent part of the morning hurling water balloons at the Principal Jim Mennes. It was reward on the last day of school for their hard work during the year.

Some students including Kendrick Belony, 7, got the opportunity to hit Mennes with balloons for donating items for troops overseas. During this year's troop drive at Freedom, students sent over 25 boxes of items including beef jerky, playing cards and flip flops to their family members serving in the military overseas.

Kendrick said he is excited the school year is over. "I've been working hard at school, I never stopped working all year," the first grader said.

More than 50 public schools across the district were participating in end-of-year activities today.