This photo from Caseville Public Schools in Caseville, Michigan, is the inspiration for a movement to celebrate the Class of 2020 in an unique way, as the current pandemic has changed plans for regular graduation ceremonies. Photos Courtesy of Caseville Public Schools Facebook

Eckville parent group planning graduation display for students

Twelve banners are being made for the graduates to be displayed in Eckville for graduation

The 12 graduates from Eckville are missing out on their graduation ceremony this weekend, but a group of parents are working on another way to celebrate the milestone.

Twelve banners, each with a picture of a graduate, their name and Class of 2020, will be made and hung downtown to celebrate the students’ success and work to get to this point.

Tamara Lawrence, a parent organizing the display, says the grad parents wanted to do something fun to celebrate for now.

“My son is graduating and it is upsetting for him and us that this is all happening,” Lawrence said in a phone interview.

Eckville Junior/Senior High School planned to celebrate graduation On May 23, but the event has been postponed.

Staff, students and parents are hoping to have the ceremony sometime in September, however a new date has yet to be set in stone.

Lawrence says it is “really hard” to be a parent of a graduate right now.

“We are hoping to have the ceremony in September but that is probably just going to be the ceremony. They aren’t going to do any of the fun stuff like parties and events that they had planned.

“We just wanted to do something for now to celebrate,” Lawrence said.

The idea for the graduate banners came from a photo circulating social media.

Caseville Public Schools in Michigan created banners for the students and placed them on light posts around the town to celebrate the grads who wouldn’t be getting a graduation ceremony due to COVID-19.

The photo has gone viral since it was uploaded to Facebook in April.

Lawrence says as soon as the photo started to circulate parents of soon-to-be-graduates became excited about the project.

“We are all pretty close in Eckville, we have a Grad Mom group chat where the photo was posted. Everyone was for it right away,” she said.

The parents, and those in town how don’t have a child graduating, are all excited by the celebration.

Lawrence said it took a bit to convince her son it would be a fun celebration for right now.

“At first he was a little unsure about it, but he is pretty excited about it now.”

The display is being done by a parent group, and not the school. As such, the school name, logo and colours will not be displayed on the banners.

“The logistics of doing it through the school was too much. We had to go through the school and head office and sign stuff. As a parent group we just all had to agree,” said Lawrence.

The banners, one each for the 12 graduates, will be hung from the Town’s new light posts, which will be installed in the next week or two.

The banners will be created by the local company Bay 4 Promotional Printing.

The plan is to have them on display for a couple months beginning the end of May or beginning of June.

The banners will be given to graduates after the ceremony in September.

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