Bona Vista Graduation

MILESTONE — Artemis P. walks in the Pomp and Circumstance March during this year’s Early Childhood Education Preschool graduation.

Cue the Pomp and Circumstance March! Bona Vista’s Early Childhood Education Center recently held preschool graduation for 16 bright-eyed, ready-to-learn kiddos who will embark on the next chapter of their lives in the fall, and we are so proud of them all!

Even though our Early Childhood Center is open year-round, we still graduate students who will be leaving us in August. They’ve earned the recognition. They’ve worked hard at learning to share with their fellow students, following directions given by their teachers, and handling themselves in situations they’ve never had deal with before (like when little Johnny gets to be the line leader instead of them today).

Are they perfect? No. Will their kindergarten teacher still need to have a ton of patience? Yes. But, the same could still be said for you and me, right? Even as adults we aren’t perfect, and the people around us still need to have a lot of patience, at times. We are just taller versions of our preschool selves, really. Just like us, though, these students have come a long way since they started, and we can’t wait to see where the road takes them. The foundational learning they have achieved to get them kindergarten-ready will go with them all the days of their life.

As a parent of a student who will be a senior in high school this fall and as someone who works in the same building as the preschool (so I get to know many of the children), graduation brings about all the feelings. I’m sure the parents of these graduates weren’t thinking about how the next time they blink their students will be filing a gymnasium with hundreds of others students ready to take on the “real world.” But, it will be here before they know it.

I hope they take the time to be in the moment and present during their child’s next 12 years. I hope that instead of being sad that one chapter is over that they focus on how proud they are of all their child has accomplished. I hope they show up to the events, games, and performances. I hope they recognize that all their child really wants is their love, attention, and support. I hope they realize that their brains and bodies aren’t the only things growing during their child’s school-aged years, but that their hearts are also developing – for better or for worse.

The school-aged years are challenging, to say the least (for the child and the parent). As an employee of an educational organization, we encourage parents to get involved. And, as a parent of students in the public school system, I know they encourage it as well.

The best thing you can do is to partner with your child’s teachers each year. You’re in it together! Start the year off right, set your child up for success, set yourself up for open communication, and then watch as the stars align and your child thrives from year to year until that final graduation tassel is turned.