by Alfie D’Souza-Team Mangalorean
Mangaluru: Going to kindergarten is an important step for your child. It will help them learn skills that they will build on throughout their life. At kindergarten your child will grow socially and emotionally. Their ability to think, use and recognize language and their fine motor skills will be developed through play, art, dance, music, movement and interacting with others. Most importantly, your child will be learning to become an effective learner as they develop and extend their communication skills, build their self-confidence, learn to be creative, and develop skills that assist them with reading, writing and mathematics. They also become talented in their co-curricular activities. Yes, the young Kindergarten kids unleashed their talents in front of their teachers and parents during the Mount Carmel Central School-Mary Hill-“Kindergarten Graduation Day’ which was held at Mother Veronica Auditorium on 28 March 2015 at 9am.
Today was indeed a grand and glorious day, where nearly 113 children’s dreams came true as they were anxiously looking forward to receive their “Graduation Diploma”. Graduation day for these smart 113 Graduating kids from kindergarten all clad in their “Graduation Robes” and caps really made this the most memorable day of their lives thus far! They were all beaming with joy and pride amidst their teachers and parents, who were responsible for them to get so far, and earn the graduate that graduate status ?. Convocation Day fills the heart with mixed feelings. Fulfillment and sadness, anxiety and eagerness, say goodbye to the secure life within the kindergarten walls and get ready to explore a new world altogether. It was a great occasion in the lives of all the children. It was also due recognition for the outstanding work of the principal/staff/teachers and also a pretty emotional day for the parents.
Looking at these Kindergarten children who were anxiously waiting to receive their Graduation certificates, one could say that these kids were eager to learn and succeed. Yes they learned by experiencing and by doing. They learned from their play. They expressed their needs since they had greater command of language. They talked about imaginary friends. They enjoyed dramatic play with other children. Their emotions were usually extreme and short-lived. They have begin to learn to share. They have learned best by doing and involve in variety of activities. All these qualities and much more came to light during the Graduation day ceremony when the tiny graduates wowed their teachers and parents with their hidden talents.
The ‘Kid Graduates” were escorted into the auditorium in a procession by the school marching band. The celebration began with a thoughtful prayer rendered by the UKG kids, followed by welcome address by teacher Latha. As they say dance is an expression of laughter, sorrow, joy, happiness, hopes and fears, the talented LKG kids gave a scintillating welcome dance performance. It’s a fervent belief that the true purpose of education is to recognize and unfold the seed of genius already sown within the child. Truly every little spark when kindled in a conductive environment leads to a blending glow and spreads the aura of its success into every human mind. Teacher Sumana was invited to the stage to do the presentation of the graduates of 2014-15.
Sr Carissima, the Administrator of the School led the tiny graduates in taking the Graduation pledge- ” As Kindergarten graduate, in the presence of all gathered here, I thank my Alma mater for the learning I had in reading, writing, arithmetic, conversation and recreation. I promise to hold the title and honor I received today with dignity. I shall do my best to practice the virtues I learnt here. I pledge the best of my life and loyalty to my Alma Mater” – and the kids repeated after her. The pledge was followed by the Graduation Song which was sung by all the Graduates who assembled on the stage. Then it was time to hear the kind words of wisdom
where the Guest of Honor, Mrs Vinaya D’Souza, also the mother of one of the UKG graduate of the day, who delivered the convocation address.
Quoting a thought-provoking proverb ” “I may have the knowledge of scholars but without love and tolerance in my heart, I’m but a noisy gong”, Ms Vinaya D’Souza enlightened the graduates saying, ” Dear friends, children want to know, they need to know how precious they are to us. As we look at our tiny graduates here today, the sparkle in their eyes, their innocence smiles, carefree life, don’t we all wish to become children again? Why this longing, where did our innocence disappear. Was it not lost amidst the pressure and expectations that life brought our way as we grew? Let this not be their fate”.
Continuing further she said, “Children are born with their own personalities, they have their own dreams. Let us be supportive and encouraging rather than being demanding. We never know they may surpass our dreams for them some day, let’s give them their space and they will win the race. Let’s think about it. It is so easy to find highly qualified, over ambitious individuals these days, but how easy is it to find a person who is at peace with himself? A person, who is truly happy and content in life. Character is very important and a person with a good character will truly succeed. It is our responsibility to help our children to blossom and grow into tolerant dignified human beings and not just empty vessels making noise. They look up to us as their heroes and idols, are we letting them down? We need to be the change we want too see in them, so we can proudly say ‘yes I want you to walk in my footsteps and become who I am’.
Giving an example, Mrs D’Souza said, ” I am reminded of this little boy who wanted to be a part of the school play and so he practiced day and night. But his mother who watched him knew that he would not be selected. On the day of the audition she went to pick her son and to her surprise she saw him run up to her with open arms. He very enthusiastically exclaimed “Mama I have been given a very important role. I have selected to clap and cheer. Children find success even in their failure. It is we who plant the fear of failure in their heart. Lets think about it”.
Concluding her speech, Mrs Vinaya D’Souza said, ” We need to commend and thank the dear Sr Melissa-the Principal, Sr Carissima-the Administrator, Sr Janet Maria-the Vice Principal, and the teachers for not just mentoring our little graduates but more importantly for the values you have instilled in them. I have been witness to how the students of Mount Carmel stand out in a crowd because of their humility and values. In a world that has lost its humane touch, this attribute is surely a matter of pride. It at times gets difficult for us as parents to discipline our children at home and I am sure it must be a Herculean task to take care of 30-35 children together. I must thank you for the mild correction you have given them time and again in order to mould them into what they are today. I must admit that the safety measures you have taken for the security of our children are commendable. As our tiny tots are all set to spread their wings and make their first flight, I am sure they will soar to higher and nobler heights and make this their Alma mater stand tall”.
Following the distribution of graduate diplomas to the “kid Graduates” along with a photo-shot with their daddy’s and mummy’s, presented to them by guest of honors Sandeep D’souza and his wife Vinaya, along with Sr Carissima and Sr Janet Maria, it was time to express their gratitude and appreciation which was lovably proposed by few Kindergarten students.The formal programme concluded with vote of thanks proposed by teacher Sandra. As part of cultural programme there was lots of music, dance and skit performed the LKG/UKG students, which received loud applaud from the audience. The convocation was professionally and systematically compered by Teacher Richa Pinto.
In conclusion, while being a part of this convocation and also enjoyed the ceremony, all I can say is that “Life is not just about learning to read and write. They are important, but just as important is love and friendship. This school places great emphasis on being part of the community. This is a lifelong skill which will help them to flourish. It may seem slightly old fashioned but a sense of community to me is very important to the future of our nation and our children”.
Looking ahead our children are very well equipped to take on the next part of their educational lives. They have strong foundations and by looking at the smartness of these LKG/UKG kids I can say that the teachers have given the children a great start in life. They have learned many priceless lessons. Take on challenges, be loving, love learning, be part of the community, laugh and be all you can be. What parent would not give a million Rupees for their children to have that attitude all their lives. After all, today’s smart kids are nations future leaders. May God bless these tiny “graduates” as they move forward into becoming youth and adulthood graduates in their high school and college grade.
What happens today…. is life changing and has to last for a life time. Best of luck “Kid Graduates” !