Graduation Hopes & Dreams

BY AMANDA MOSES

By definition, the term graduation simply means a ceremony where degrees are distributed. However, every graduation is so much more than that. It is a moment in time when families, friends and faculty honor students’ achievements, and watch them take the next step into their future. P.S. 346’s fifth grade graduation ceremony was an emotional undertaking because they were stepping up to middle school.

Tears were shed as many of the children said goodbye to their friends and the years they spent in elementary school. The emotional ceremony began with music performed by the Spring Creek Youth Orchestra, as the graduating class marched into P.S. 346’s auditorium. Donning sunglasses, the fifth grade class walked into their graduation ready for a bright future.

The constitutional fortitude to keep pushing forward was one of the many topics discussed during the event. Guest speaker and New York City Councilwoman, Inez Barron congratulated the students on their continued effort. “I am so pleased to be here and to see all of your smiling faces because this is an acknowledgment of the hard work that you have put in to come to this point in your educational career,” Barron said. She asked the students to envision their future: graduating middle school, high school, college and then their career pursuit. “If you reach deep down, and believe in yourself, you can achieve anything. I want to tell you these three pieces of advice: Be thick skinned, be tender hearted, and be tough minded,” she said.

Barron’s statements resonated with the graduating class, as she explained that as you grow older you will learn many of life’s harsh lessons. There will be people who do not support you or do cruel acts against you, but always remember that your family and friends will be there—you are not alone. However, take into account that people make mistakes, whether intentional or not, Barron advised the students to have a tender heart and show compassion. Her final piece of advice was to keep learning, create a tough mind that can analyze situations and grow from constructive criticism. “All of these things will help you move forward because you can be and do whatever you want to,” Barron said.

Principal Kevin Caifa concluded the ceremony applauding not only the students, but their parents for their continued support. After a series of shouts for joy, the tassels were turned from right to left, and the students danced their way out of the school towards a brighter future.

Photos by Amanda Moses