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Growing and thriving through a pandemic, Rainbows' Class of 2021 celebrates!

Lights, Camera, Graduation!

Lights, Camera, Graduation! The theme for Pre-K Graduation this year was a red carpet celebration of achievements. In a year that has been remarkably different than most of us have ever known, I wondered what the ceremony had in store for everyone. The answer is it had a little bit of everything, in all the best ways. There was singing and dancing, laughing and crying, and even a few surprises!

I’m so proud of all the graduates. This year has been filled with every day challenges and looking to the future with hope. At times I worried if I would have enough healthy staff to continue to provide services during the pandemic. I worried about the health and safety of staff and families. We made changes in our building, hoping that it would be enough to keep everyone healthy. We put on our masks and began taking our temperatures. We continued to wash our hands and sanitized EVERYTHING. Sometimes, it felt like nothing would ever be enough, but it always was. Thanks to our wonderful staff and families, we never stopped providing services. And we are planning for the future!

The gift that the pandemic gave to me was the realization that kids really are resilient. Not in a “they get over it” kind of way, but in a “look how these kids are growing and thriving” kind of way. They were amazing, and every single person that attended Pre-K graduation got to see it. They sang and danced like they had been giving performances all year long, so when they said they were “Shooting Stars” we could feel it. It was beautiful to watch the interactions between the children, the families, and the staff during the reception. I think it’s rare to find a group of people that share so much affection and respect for each other.

Graduation is always bittersweet, but I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to know all the graduates and their families. I know they will all keep shining like the little stars they are as they move into the next chapter in their lives, and I truly wish them all the best. Congratulations Kids’ Point Class of 2021!

By Michelle Croomes, Early Care and Education & CBETS Coordinator

Early Care and Education at Rainbows is not just about learning to read and write. It is a place for mastering developmental milestones, such a taking a bottle, moving from crawling to walking, learning sounds and turning those sounds into sentences that express emotions and needs. It is a path towards developing empathy and understanding. It is a feeling of security, acceptance and love. Rainbows is a place for children to grow.

Follow these links to read the inspirational stories for 5 children in Rainbows’ Class of 2021.

Avery: Avery is one of the many children who has had to navigate the reality of living through a pandemic. By working with Rainbows’ Mental Health Specialist Alice Boutz, Avery made significant progress in her ability to deal with uncertainty, how to handle hard situations (death, pandemic) and has really been able to focus on healthy relationships with peers which will become increasingly important the older she gets and the more she will be exposed to new and different people. Read more.

Carson: He’s a very confident little boy. Just this past weekend we were out of town and he met some new friends at the playground. Watching him interact with confidence and excitement, I knew that was attributed to his time at Rainbows. Read more.

Owen: All three of our kids, Henry (7), Owen (5), and Quinn (2), started with Rainbows from 3 months on. Rainbows has been a second family to us. They have loved our kiddos and helped them grow. Read more.

Louie: Though as parents we would like to take all of the credit, we know that he is the boy he is today in part because of the nurturing and teaching he has received from his Rainbows’ teachers and staff. Read more.

Nicholas: Nicholas didn’t experience the same distress that many kids with autism faced because he was able to keep a big chunk of his routine and stay with safe, familiar people. Read more.