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YWCA Preschool Graduation – Celebrating the Start of Children’s Learning Futures

By Deb Tomasino, YWCA Downtown Children’s Center Director
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Summer: a time for barbeques, family reunions, swimming and of course, graduations. You may ask, “Why would you have a preschool graduation? They haven’t even started ‘real’ school yet.” 

Early Learning Foundation

To the children, families and staff at the five YWCA Children’s Centers, our programs are as real and important as “real” school because it sets the foundation for a child’s future learning. Some of the most important learning is done in the early childhood years, so why not celebrate this first of many academic accomplishments.

Celebrating Growth and Achievements

The preschool graduation is a way to celebrate the end of a child’s time in preschool and say goodbye to them as they move on to the next chapter of their life. Many of the children in YWCA preschool classrooms have attended our early learning centers for a number of years, and the graduation program allows parents and staff to see how much the children have grown and achieved in this time.

As I witnessed the graduation at the YWCA Downtown site, I saw children, parents, grandparents and staff enjoy the ceremony and celebrate this milestone. One parent said “It was awesome to see their beautiful and excited faces.”

So, while it may not be the graduation that culminates their educational career, it is an opportunity to celebrate all the growth and development they have accomplished in their first five years of life.

Consistently, over 90% of children at YWCA Minneapolis meet school readiness indicators, compared with 73% of their peers in Minnesota.

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

Prior to graduation, the children were asked what they wanted to be when they grow up.  Here are some of their responses:

  • MacKenzie – An astronaut because I want to see little aliens
  • Rebecca – A vet so I can take care of dogs and cats
  • Tyden – A weatherman because I know every type of weather
  • Clara – A teacher because I like teaching people stuff
  • Autumn – A fashion girl
  • Kayla – A mommy and a doctor
  • Asher – A construction worker
  • Kashif – An astronaut

Graduation Poem

Preschool teachers Deb and Jamie from YWCA Children’s Center at Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning read this poem to their graduates this year.

A Preschool Good-Bye

Sticky fingers, freckled noses
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes-es.
Shapes and colors, ABC’s,
Taking turns and 123’s.
Toothless smiles, hugs and giggles,
Circle Time and lots of wiggles.
Wooden blocks and dress-up clothes,
Learning how a flower grows.
Milk and cookies, first-time friend,
Thinking days like these won’t end.
Preschool done before you know it,
No one sadder than this poet.
Like a butterfly, time has flown,
You have learned and you have grown.
Tiny chairs give way to desks,
Book reports and spelling tests.
So take off now, spread your wings,
Soar to new heights, learn new things.
Just remember, as you do,
Someone’s very proud of you.

Cake, Cupcakes, Gifts and Diplomas

After receiving their diploma, each center celebrated with a special cake, cupcakes and gifts for the graduates and their families.

Hats off to the 2017 graduates from the five YWCA Children’s Centers. We are proud of your accomplishments and wish you and your families good luck as you enter kindergarten.

“Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” —Oprah Winfrey

Learn More About YWCA Early Learning

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