Life is quieter these days, but today nature sings to us. A palate of blue paints the sky which is cloudless. A perfect day for a ceremony to celebrate North Main Street School’s fifth-graders. They are moving up to sixth grade. Although the ceremony was on Facebook, an azure sky and a balmy 77 degrees forecast a wonderful summer for well-deserving students who have powered through the uncertainty of spring.
The moving up ceremony began at 11 a.m. June 12. The bright and hopeful faces of 50 students radiated on Facebook.
“The whole world is watching Facebook Live," announced Brian Kavanagh, a fifth-grade teacher and the moderator. “We are beaming out globally.”
The sound of the song "The Greatest Love of All" floated warmly in the background of the congratulatory messages from the staff. Calvin Rice, a security guard at North Main said, “Always remember we are here for you. We love you. We are your second family.” Wafting in the background the lyrics “I believe the children are our future" and "Teach them well and let them lead the way” rang true.
Ms. Allen, a fifth-grade teacher who spearheaded the moving-up ceremony, spoke passionately to the students, saying, "Congratulations! You made it! Your foundational years are complete! Now, it’s time to rise. Rise up! Strengthen the tools you have been given while you use them to eventually develop into great men and women full of successful accomplishments. Remember? Who wins? We win!"
Fifth-grade students Ahmodjanae and Stephanie proudly led the Facebook audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Natasha, who led the recitation of the school mantra.
Fifth-graders Angie and Yareni said, during their welcome address, “This is just a small step for us as we continue to pursue higher learning. We will need you, even more, to provide us with the support we will need to be successful. It is our hope to continue to make you proud of us, become productive citizens, and to give back to the community as you have given to us.”
Angie and Yareni closed by saying, “Again we thank you for gracing us with your presence and, yes we can, and, yes we will be the future leaders of tomorrow.”
Rising up was a theme throughout the ceremony. A stunning rendition of "Rise Up" was sung by Ruth, a fifth-grader.
The keynote speaker was Pleasantville City Council President Judy Ward. She stated how proud she was of the fifth-graders. She encouraged them by saying, “Stay focused and do everything you are supposed to do so you can move on to the high school.”
Middle School Principal Nanette Stuart congratulated students of North Main Street School. She expressed the importance of the opportunity of moving up to the Middle School and taking their lives in beautiful and bold directions. She said, “Today illustrates that North Main Street School scholars are coming to the end of one part of a journey. But, I want you to recognize that you are also ushering in a much larger expedition. A trip where the road will be paved with both challenges and opportunities. Promise me that as you enter the doors of the middle school, you will dream big.”
Dennis Anderson, the superintendent, thanked the families for their love, encouragement and support. And a rainbow of sparkling, smiling faces looked out to the world during the first Virtual Moving Up Ceremony at North Main Street School in Pleasantville on Facebook Live.
Teresa McGaney-Guy, principal of North Main Street School, has known this graduating class of students since they entered pre-kindergarten.
In her closing remarks, she asked students to make great choices and eloquently stated, “Your future will be a masterpiece if you make it a work of the heart and love what you do.”