Parents, Community Invited to Lakota's New Parade of Graduates

Parents, Community Invited to Lakota's New Parade of Graduates
Posted on 04/24/2017
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This year, Lakota Local Schools introduced a new series of community fanfare events supporting student achievement. The concept, derived from a first day of school tradition at Hopewell Junior School, brings community and school leaders together to send a message of support to Lakota students. Now, as we near the end of the school year, another new tradition is being launched – The Parade of Graduates.

parade of graduates photoImagine a procession of graduating seniors, dressed in their caps and gowns, parading past cheering elementary-aged students who are lining the halls of their school. On Monday, May 15, that is exactly what will take place in each Lakota elementary building.

During the parade, seniors will receive congratulatory letters of advice and encouragement written by the elementary students as a souvenir of the event. This initiative from the Champions for Change committee celebrates the achievements of our graduating students as well as provides diverse role models for those in the elementary grades.

“We wanted our younger students to see a role model - someone who looks like them – parading in a graduation robe, looking happy, confident, and successful. They see a young adult, ready to graduate, planning for the future. We hope every elementary student will walk away from the Parade of Graduates exclaiming, ‘Awesome! I want that someday!’” says Amy Alexander, a teacher at Hopewell Elementary, founder and co-coordinator of the initiative with Brenda Paget, counselor at Lakota Plains.

She adds, “Many of the elementary teachers are tying the event to their curriculum, incorporating mini-lessons on graduation and education paths so the younger students better understand what lies ahead in their future.”

With an overall theme of “What I Can Be,” the event has a two-fold purpose: to help elementary students glimpse the future and understand what is needed for their success, as well as to provide a heart-warming send-off for all Lakota seniors. Each graduate will carry a sign with three components to bridge these goals: their first name, their plans after graduation and one thing that he or she is proud of related to graduation.

Each of the elementary grades also has a theme, which will be at the focus of the letters they write to the graduates. For example, second graders will advise seniors how to “Be happy,” while third graders remind the seniors to “Be respectful” and fourth graders focus on “Be responsible.” Rounding out the elementary grades, fifth graders share thoughts on “Be yourself,” while the sixth graders will ask graduates to always “Be accepting of others.”

During the parade, every senior will receive five letters, one from a student in each elementary grade, each addressing that specific theme. “We wanted some type of keepsake for the seniors, something they could take with them in their next stage of life which reminds them of what they’ve learned and how they’ve grown as people during their school years,” explains Alexander. “While the parade itself will only last a few minutes, we hope it has a lasting, very positive impact on both ages of students.”

All are invited to attend the Parade of Graduates at the elementary school in their attendance zone.

All Lakota elementary schools
Monday, May 15
Guests should start arriving at 9:40 a.m.  
Parade will begin approximately 10 a.m.


Photo: In this photo posed to simulate the upcoming Parade of Graduates, Lakota West senior David Walcott and Hopewell Elementary student Malachi Patton give matching celebratory signs.