Graduation ceremonies for preschool? Ridiculous! Unless… | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Jul 03, 2014

First let me say that I’ve never quite grasped the need for graduation ceremonies for children younger than high school age. I do not recall that I – or my children – graduated from anything before completion of senior year. At the youngest, perhaps junior high?

I believe in affirming young people, recognizing their achievements and praising them for their successes. Possibly I’ve read too many articles about how children now feel overly entitled, and too often expect recognition and praise simply for showing up. Anyway, I’ve always thought graduation ceremonies were unnecessary for children younger than high school.

OK. You’ve read the preamble. Now let me tell you about my grandson Adam’s graduation from his daycare preschool program. Yes. Adam at 5 is now a graduate from his first institute of learning. (Lower Learning?) I did not anticipate this particular celebration until I received the invitation. Would I attend? Of course I would. And so would Uncle Warren.

The Friday evening of Adam’s 6:30 graduation, traffic from Edmonds to West Seattle was especially fierce. We’d be lucky to arrive in time for the ceremony at Providence Mount St. Vincent, a nursing facility and retirement home where my daughter works and her children attend daycare preschool.

It was 6:25 by the time we parked, made our way into the building, onto the elevator and into the chapel on the third floor, where the graduation was to take place. The chapel is large. The crowd was larger. Fortunately, my daughter had saved us seats near the front.

I could see the graduates lining up in a hallway off to the right of the altar. They somehow resembled a wobbly line of ducklings with gaily decorated white mortarboards jammed onto their bobbing heads.

Eventually, the children were led into the chapel and herded into rows facing their families. Adam saw me and waved wildly. I was pleased. What grandma wouldn’t be? I waved back. My daughter frowned at me.

The young graduates sang several songs, excelling at “This Little Light of Mine,” and belting out several verses of something rollicking that caused the little boys to shout a bit and push each other.

Everyone applauded enthusiastically, sightlines obscured by standing parents taking videos. The Learning Center director addressed the crowd, and began reading charming statements taken from the children, telling what each one most liked about the year.

As the director began speaking, a clear voice rang, calling out to a teacher, “Sister Stella! I took a bow and my hat fell off!” Everyone laughed. Adam’s mother rolled her eyes. His grandmother thought, “Yes! That’s MY boy!”

Adam replaced his mortarboard, and the ceremony continued. Finally, everyone headed down to the play yard for a potluck dinner.

Sitting in the midst of friendly conversation, I realized what a family many of those people had become in the years their children had been at The Mount together. And I thought what a nice idea it was to have a graduation ceremony for those children.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.