Its that time of year again when high schools and colleges hold their graduations recognizing that people have completed the requirements necessary for a diploma or degree.
Up until this year, the village celebrated one graduation and three promotions. Three promotions! Promotions that are run like graduations only with the diploma replaced by a certificate of promotion.
First, the Head Start program would have their promotion in the school cafeteria. The boys dressed in blue caps and gowns while the girls wore pink. The parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc sat in the audience or stood in the back watching the little ones enter one step at a time and sit. They'd have a speaker. The teachers passed out certificates after sharing a little something about each child. It never started on time and lasted a couple of hours.
Second, Kindergarten celebrated their students completing their first full year of instruction with a promotion. This time the little ones dressed in suits or dresses rather than caps and gowns but they still entered to music, carefully spaced so parents and others had a chance to take a picture. Again, one of the teachers made a small speech before passing out the certificates to each student. At the end, they carefully walked out spaced so it took a while for the children to make their way out.
These two happened between the high school graduation and the Eighth grade promotion. The junior class decorated the cafeteria for the 6th grade to community prom where everyone is there to see or be seen. Its also one of the few times people have to dress up and look as if they've stepped out of the pages of Seventeen or Gentleman's Quarterly. The major decorations are kept for a week and brought out for high school graduation.
The students attired in caps and gowns, slowly walk in with enough distance for family members to snap tons of pictures. There are speeches galore from the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Keynote Speaker, class Advisor, School Board President, and of course the person who gives out the Scholarships. At this point, the diplomas are passed out to each and every graduating student pauses with the diploma so family members can take photos and videos to last a lifetime. A movie showing the life of each graduate is shown after all the diploma's are given out. The final activity is watching students march out slowly to the cafeteria where they form a receiving line. This is followed by cake and punch.
The following Monday, the eighth graders use the graduation setup so they can go through the exact same process to recognize their advancement to high school with a certificate rather than a diploma but they have the speakers, the movies, and tons of photo opportunities.
This year, the school managed to eliminate the Head Start and Kindergarten promotions and there is talk of eliminating the eighth grade promotion but I don't think that will happen until they get the graduation rate up. By the last celebration I am tuckered out of speeches, movies, and the slow walk in and out.