Local pre-school teacher Jessica Richards hosted a drop-by graduation ceremony for her students in her driveway May 25. Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

Local pre-school teacher hosts drop-by graduation for her students in her driveway

“I want them to feel celebrated and honoured.”

Graduations across the province are being cancelled or re-scheduled for fall due to COVID-19. Jessica Richards’ pre-school classes from Clear Vista School are no exception.

The first year pre-school teacher has been keeping up with her students’ learning through sending home videos and worksheets.

“When my kids graduated it was such a big day,” Richards says. “I still wanted to give the kids a taste of that.”

So Richards set up a drop-by graduation in her driveway for May 25. Individually her students could drop-by with their family throughout the day to go through the mini graduation ceremony that Richards had designed.

Upon arrival the student would walk down the makeshift isle to Richard where they would receive a “diploma” and a gift bag.

From there Richards would take them over to her art stand, where the student would dip their finger into a paint colour of their choice and leave their fingerprint on Richards’ memory tree that she had drawn up.

Following the finger painting the student would make their way to stand in front of the graduate backdrop that Richards had created and hung on her garage door for their family to take pictures.

Lastly, the student would find a the mirror display set up and could look at their reflection beside a chalkboard sign that says, “look who’s going to kindergarten!”

Richards says her efforts were worth the time and energy. “I want them to feel celebrated and honoured.”

All but one of Richards’ students were able to drop-by for their individual graduation ceremony.


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Local pre-school teacher Jessica Richards hosted a drop-by graduation ceremony for her students in her driveway May 25. Richards is in the middle of Paisley Amirault’s individual ceremony. Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

One of Richards’ students Paisley Amirault poses in the mirror next to a sign that says, “look who’s going to kindergarten!” Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

The memory tree. Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

Part of Richards’ graduation display. Photo by Shaela Dansereau.

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