Graduation is a big day for high school seniors, but it is also a big day for their parents and guardians. Finding an appropriate way of saying "Thank you" and honouring their parents is an important part of the day for many seniors. It is important that the tribute suit all families, whether they are traditional families or whether the "mom" or "dad" is a guardian, adoptive parent or stepparent.
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"When I Grow Up..."
Parents are often a child's first career inspiration. Have the graduates share how their Mom or Dad inspired them with their first career-related decision: college. This tribute page is simple: each graduate writes a one-line sentence about how one or both parents inspired her in her first career decision. A creative alternative to this one-line quote concept is making a collage. Each graduate submits a picture of a symbol, a segment of a photograph, or a personal drawing for the two-page tribute. Tributes are best placed on two adjacent pages for optimal use of page space.
Have each graduate share a photo of himself along with his mom, dad or both parents. Crop the photos so they all fit on two pages, making a collage. Write the words "Thank you" across the top. These photos can be themed so all are childhood photos or all are photos of a kindergarten graduation. They can also all be unique photos that are special to that particular family or student.
"Thank You, Mom and Dad"
Graduates can spell the words "Thank you Mom and Dad" on the lawn of their school or in another grassy, safe place. They can use themselves as human words and spell the phrase, or they can use brightly coloured fabric. Another option is using coloured balls -- collect them from friends and family for later return. The words can be as big or as small as the number of students in the graduating class. This is also a way the graduates can work together and achieve a common goal in their last days as a class and have something tangible (the photograph) they and their parents can enjoy for years to come.
Have each graduate, in her own handwriting, write a word that reminds her of her parents. Have each graduate sign her name next to the word. In the centre of the pages, place a group shot of the graduates. During the graduation speech, have one of the speakers announce that the word collage represents hope and inspiration for the graduates. During a tough time in their education, career lives, or family life, the graduates can look back and be inspired by words that remind them of their own parent's dedication.
If there is a talented songwriter or a team of songwriters and musicians in the graduating class, they can write a tribute song dedicated to the moms and dads of that particular class. The song can then be performed by a class band or a group of musician volunteers from the class. A spin on this idea would involve parents who are musicians performing the song.
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