Now, I’ve heard people complain about excessive graduation ceremonies, for middle school, kindergarden and even preschool. And, you know what? These people can just go hang. Friday was a special day for Nora as she formally finished her first year at the University of Waterloo’s Early Childhood Education Centre Preschool program. And, no, they didn’t do the pomp and circumstance of a graduation. What they did was they split us all (including visiting parents and grandparents) into groups and sent us around the preschool to watch and participate as our children engaged in some of the fun learning activities they enjoyed throughout the year. Then we finished up with a slide show covering some of the highlights of the year.
Really, what more could you ask from a graduation?
In September, Nora starts Junior Kindergarden, a somewhat different JK than what Vivian would have encountered three years ago when we decided to route her into the ECEC’s JK program. Before McGuinty made all-day kindergarden a priority, the Waterloo Region District School Board had set up all-day, every-other-day kindergarten as a budget measure. Without the resources that McGuinty made available for full day kindergarden a year later, the kids and parents were presented with an awkward schedule and, as we were told by a JK teacher at the time, the afternoon was “just crowd control.”
All-day, every-day kindergarden arrived in time for Vivian to take it as senior kindergarden, and she thrived in the environment. And, now, this September, Vivian and Nora will be attending the same school, for six hours, twenty minutes each weekday. I myself am wondering what I’m going to do with all this time. Though, of course, I’m sure something will find me.
I’ve criticized McGuinty on a number of fronts, but education is one area where I greatly appreciate his record. He’s tried to do his best, and I think the children of this province, and the people they’ll meet and work with in the years to come, will be all the better for it. On this, I take my hat off to the premier.
More pictures of the special day can be found here.