Our graduation ceremony is very simple and is sort of a mix of a prayer service and kindergarten concert. We open with a prayer, the kindergarten students perform a few songs and poems, receive their "diplomas" (I know, you're wondering why I put this word in quotation marks-keep reading to find out!), and the teachers present a short movie featuring photos from the school year.
Our students don't wear caps or gowns to the ceremony. Instead, they arrive at graduation dressed in their Sunday Best (it's really nice teaching in a Catholic school where we can say this and everyone knows exactly what the teachers expect for appropriate attire!) We don't use hats or gowns because the students arrive dressed so nicely (and girls always have such lovely hair on this day). It doesn't seem right to hide these things under a hat and gown. They're kindergarten students and we want them to look like the special little ones that they are each day.
Instead, we order graduation sashes from Andersons. They are personalized and the company helps you customize just about every detail (including background color, font style, & font color-call the company's toll free number for best customization.) We ordered navy blue because it is our school color, but they also have some very child-friendly prints to select from. Each child receives a sash personalized with his/her first and last name and the words "Kindergarten Grad." We also order a few generic ones that say our school name in case anyone forgets theirs at home and needs to borrow a sash for the ceremony.
Currently, our diplomas come from Really Good Stuff. I'm not in love with it and I'm hoping to design something better for our use next year, but for now, these get the job done.
Now I know that the diploma you see to the right does not match my diplomas in the photo at the top of this post. The ones you see in the photo are our ceremonial diplomas. They are just copies of the coloring sheet of the graduating boy and girl rolled up and tied shut with a ribbon. When student names are called during the ceremony, they receive a rolled up fake diploma. After the ceremony, families collect a HUGE manilla envelope filled student work, report cards, and all kinds of other goodies. The actual diploma is tucked inside of the big envelope so nothing happens to it.
Did somebody say "FREEBIE?"Download a free copy of the the graduation coloring page I created (It's great for Preschool Graduation too!) The images are by KPM Doodles. I just love Kristen's drawings!