Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Even kindergartners get to graduate.
Last Friday, May 20, the Nederland Elementary School morning and afternoon kindergartners, 38 of them, celebrated being ready for first grade. Parents were invited to attend the parties in Johanna Gangemi’s classroom, and the students barely contained their excitement as they were asked to sit quietly while their parents were seated.
Waving and working hard not to shriek “Hi mom! Hi dad!” the students jiggled their feet and nudged each other now and then. They sang a song a that involved clapping their hands, which relieved some of the pent-up jitters. Then it was the students’ turn to stand up and give their name, which was done with much aplomb and pronunciation. Kindergartners don’t worry about what others will think. If they know the words, they shout them out. If they don’t, they look at their teacher.
The annual kindergarten event involves planets and space, and a large poster each child has made for their presentation. As they recite the lines they have written on the poster, their parents mouthed the words along with them, willing them to remember what to say.
Then NES principal Jeff Miller arrived to hand out the kindergarten paperwork, the proof that each child had accomplished what he or she had been required to do to move up a notch on the elementary school ladder.
Finally, the children were allowed to do what they had been waiting for, they could run to their parents and hear how proud their moms and dads were of them.
Ezra Baumhover waved his diploma and handed it to his dad, Jonathan Baumhover, who thought of his own K-Day, back in the day. His teacher was Lexie Armitage and he remembers that he didn’t want to sing the song, and that there was always a large jar of jelly beans the kids could look at and guess how many there were.
When Ezra was asked how he felt about graduating, he said, “Good.”
The class donned sunglasses and sang the sunshine song and then they passed cake with their pictures on the pieces to all the guests that attended the ceremony.