Kindergarten graduation is an emotional milestone that brings smiles and tears to doting family members who can’t believe this special year is already over. Some schools recognize the significance of the event with pomp and circumstance that may include speeches, music, graduation apparel, certificates and a graduation cake shaped like a school bus. Delivering a graduation speech that will captivate students and adults alike is a formidable challenge. Consider giving a multimedia presentation instead of a memorized speech because kindergartners get bored quickly, as parents and teachers well know.
The best time to start writing a kindergarten graduation speech is the first day of school. Keep a journal noting impressive accomplishments during the year, such as the giant purple dinosaur a student constructed using balloons and papier mache. Obtain permission from parents to take occasional photos for viewing at the graduation ceremony. Photos and videos can reinforce the tremendous learning that you describe in your speech. Write a draft of your speech at least one week before graduation, so you’ll have time to revise and rehearse it.
Prepare Opening Remarks
Write a friendly welcome to students, parents, siblings, grandparents, family friends and fellow teachers in attendance. Encourage distinguished guests to stand and be recognized, such as the principal, superintendent or school board members. Explain why graduation ceremonies are important rituals at any age. Ask the children to stand. Invite the audience to applaud the graduates for their determination and success.
Share Highlights of the Year
Reference notable events of the year, such as a field trip to the fire station and the school play. Stress impressive facts, such as low absenteeism, strong class participation and success in meeting state standards that measure learning through the curriculum. Mention each child by name along with a special accomplishment or good deed. Show a power point slide or iMovie while talking, or ask children to stand when their name and achievements are mentioned.
Thank the parents, caregivers and family members for playing a key role in the learning process. Explain that parental involvement and high expectations correlate with student achievement. Note that the school views families and caretakers as influential partners in educating children and preparing them for a bright future. Encourage adults present to read to their children over the summer to keep skills fresh for the challenges of first grade.
Express your confidence that the graduating class has tremendous potential, and wish them well in their journey. End with a favorite inspirational quote, such as “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” by Dr. Seuss. Thank everyone for coming and encourage everyone to enjoy cookies and punch if there’s a reception.
- Reading and Writing to Learn: Strategies across the Curriculum; Katherine Wiesolek Kuta
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- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: St. Jude Celebrates Kindergarten Graduates
- Michigan Department of Education: What Research Says About Parent Involvement in Children's Education
- Photo Credit szefei/iStock/Getty Images
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