On June 26, program staff, teachers, and families gathered to celebrate and honor 75 youth graduates from José Martí Child Development Center that completed the school year and are graduating to Kindergarten. All year long, the children worked hard to make outstanding progress in all areas of development (social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language), and they are now ready for their next step: Kindergarten!
The ceremony was held at the Centilia Cultural Center with a potluck dinner provided by our kitchen and parents. For the 11th year in a row, José Martí CDC partnered with the Seattle Public Library to promote literacy and bi-literacy goals through the Raising a Reader Program. Cikeithia Pugh recognized the children for their participation and announced that each child would receive with a book bag and certificate for their year of dedicated reading!
After enjoying dinner and receiving gifts from Cikeithia, children of the Viento class shared the song “Que Canten Los Niños” (“Let the Children Sing”) to raise their voices in solidarity for the children separated from their families. Afterward, Native American artist and storyteller, Roger Fernandez, shared his beautiful story about Ant and Bear and their contest over light and darkness. We were honored to hear his story.
To close out the celebration, each class shared their talents through cultural presentations for their families. The children from Arcoiris recited the poem “I Am Graduating,” La Lluvia danced “Jesucita en Chihuahua,” Cristal sang “All I Really Need,” De Colores danced to “Un Poco Loco,” and El Viento danced “El Tilingo Lingo.” We then recognized the youth graduates for their hard work, highlighted their accomplishments, and presented them with certificates.
We would like to give a big thank you to the ECEAP and Step Ahead programs for making it possible for many of our students to attend preschool. We also want to thank Roger Fernandez for sharing his story with the children. Also, many thanks to all of our parents for supporting their children’s educations and getting involved in the program. Last but not least, a BIG congratulations to our graduates on their great year. We are so proud of all of our students and wish you the best of luck in Kindergarten!