1. Parenting
Jackie Burrell

Preschool Caps & Gowns? Kindergarten Class Rings??

By April 21, 2009

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Graduation Cap (Photo courtesy of Renata Jun, Stock.Xchng) Kindergrads? Seriously?? Apparently yes, according to Virginia's Oak Hall Cap & Gown, whose web site I was looking at for an entirely different reason, at least 10,000 kindergartens and preschools hold formal graduation ceremonies complete with mortarboards, gowns, Mother Goose diplomas and special commemorative tassels, because, as the site says, "this event doesn't happen everyday." Ahem. Sounds like it will soon. Why draw the line at formal commencement exercises for kindergarten? Why not celebrate graduation from 2nd, 3rd and 11th grade, or from first semester to second?

OK, enough grumbling. The real reason I was on the Oak Hall site was because Inside Higher Ed said the Virginia company had just launched a GreenWeaver line of graduation gowns made from recycled plastic bottles, 23 per gown. Seems like the greener option is simply recycling the gowns you have via rentals, but OK...
Comments
May 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm
(1) Simmer dougherty says:

Jackie,
As an educator & mom of 3 grown sons I feel compelled to respond to your post
Preschool & kindergartens hold graduation ceremonies because it is a very important transition for children. Leaving the comfort of a preschool or kindergarten class to attend full time school deserves to be honored. during these early years children experience greater change than in any other developmental stage.
I am surprised you don’t understand the significance of this critical time in a child’s development.
The reason 2nd, 3rd & 11th grade are no celebrated is because it is not a major transition in a childs life. I applaud schools that recognize the importance of
early achievement & recognition.

May 6, 2009 at 10:25 pm
(2) youngadults says:

Hi, Simmer —
As a parent of four teens and 20somethings and longtime education reporter, I certainly understand and agree with your point about preschool and kindergarten being milestones in a child’s life. What I object to is the graduation gown industry looking to make a quick buck off eager young parents – $20 for a preschool graduation gown? Class rings for kindergartners? It commercializes what should be an age-appropriate rite of passage. And it’s only a matter of time before Madison Avenue is hawking first grade prom gowns and limos. Doing a low key processional with lots of mommies and daddies snapping pics is lovely. Handing out xeroxed “diplomas”? Sure. But I worry when kids who’ve had elaborate ceremonies marking their “graduation” from kindergarten to the class next door discover that the next year, they’re not so special.

January 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm
(3) Z White says:

While I agree with Simmer that the rite of passage should be celebrated, I do think that class rings is going a little too far. I came across this blog while searching for preschool class rings and trying to see what one looks like after I received an order form from my sons school telling me to sign him up for preschool graduation. I was excited until I saw the price and what was included in the package. His school has created a package for
$115 that includes cap, gown, tassel, diploma, CLASS RING, ANNOUNCEMENTS, and a portrait package. Now I would be okay with the cap, gown, tassel, and diploma. But I don’t need the rest. Talk about commercialization. And I don’t have a choice. Its an all or none deal. Either I pay it all or he can’t participate. Now what kind of heartless parent would I be to say I’m not going to pay it and let him sit out while all of his friends practice for the big day.

February 16, 2012 at 8:24 am
(4) Momof2 says:

I think you guys are blowing this thing way out of proportion. Participate or don’t, purchase or don’t; but, I don’t see this kind of ring any different than a hello kitty ring you may purchase, or ear rings, or any other little girl jewelry. Not a good parent? Good parent? Do things like this really define our parenting skills. I don’t think anyone in this world would call another a bad parent just because they didn’t purchase them a pre-k/preschool graduation ring. Calm down everyone…sheeesh

March 4, 2012 at 11:10 am
(5) Emma says:

Regarding kinder graduation rings: I came across this page while looking for a special kinder graduation ring for my granddaughter. For me this is a special day to celebrate with my baby her accomplishment. I am going to be 60 years in April, my granddaughter is only 5 years old she is graduating from kinder this year. Her next graduation will be 12 years from now. Will I be here by then? All I know is that I will be 72 years old by the time she graduates from high school.

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