In these chairs you see the eager parents, grandparents and families of the five and six year olds heading off to first grade next year at Diggs Elementary School in our home town.  My granddaughters, I am proud to say, are two of the many beaming and beautiful graduates who graced the school gym stage. 

This is a wonderful place and the event brought out all the joy and goodness that exists in a community dedicated to its children, its diversity, and building a future of understanding and mutuality among its citizens.  No child was made to shine more than any other and all the children were shining brightly, enjoying themselves, relaxed and proud of their achievement.  They were playful and spontaneous and thrilled to stand next to their teachers to have pictures taken and a final moment of mutual pride.

The students came in singing a song “Special, Special, Special Me, I’m As Special As Can Be!”  Then each class, and there were many, sang its own favorite song.  The event ended with the group as a whole singing the following lyrics to the familiar tune of “New York, New York”:

Start spreading the news
We’re leaving today.
We want to be a part of it:
First grade, first grade

We’ve worked very hard
Our teacher’s so proud.
So open up those doors to–
First grade, first grade.

We know our… alphabet
And numbers too.
We all can write our names
And tie our shoes!

So when summer’s done
And we’re all done with play
Our mom’s will send us to
First grade, first grade.

If we can make it there
We’ll make it anywhere
So here we come– 
First grade, first grade!

Following the ceremony we gathered back in the classrooms for pictures, punch and conversation. I was able to take a few snapshots of my own dear grands!