We’ve heard so many interesting stories from Early Years service providers about how they celebrated graduations during Spring and Summer 2020 when it hasn’t been possible to do a traditional in-person celebration. We think it is so important to commemorate these transition times together and joyfully, and many of the early years services have gone to extraordinary lengths to make this happen!
Some have done “drive-in” graduation ceremonies where each child walks up to receive their certificate. Others have done “drive-by” graduations where the staff drove by the children’s homes so they can be photographed in their front gardens in cap and gown. Some have had graduation get-togethers via Zoom, Google Meet or other teleconferencing services.
There are a few parts to celebrating a graduation. Probably the most important part is the acknowledgment of achievement from family, friends and educators. There are also physical ways the occasion can be made more memorable for children. A graduation certificate is a lovely way to announce the achievement and gives the child something to look back on with pride in later years. Children love to dress up. Wearing a ceremonial cap and gown is a real reminder of how special the occasion is, and more importantly, that the child themselves is being celebrated for their achievement. The tassel and year charm can make a great keepsake for a memory box or hung from their bulletin board.
Graduation ceremonies are usually decorated with balloons and banners. We have heard from some early years educators that put up their graduation decorations at home so they could be seen in the background in their virtual graduations.
We’re quite impressed with the effort everyone has gone to in order to celebrate their early years graduations this year, and look forward to hearing your plans for any upcoming graduation ceremony! Hopefully everyone will have the chance to celebrate together in person.