On August 4th, The Salvation Army’s The Right Place in Hartford proudly celebrated the graduation of 52 students between the North End and Sigourney Street locations at The Hartford Citadel. The Right Place Centers offer a family environment for children between the ages of three to five. Whether you might call them early learning, preschool, or school readiness programs, The Right Place celebrates the concept that from the moment of birth, every child is a unique individual.
Decked out in miniature caps and tassels, the children received a diploma, as well as a backpack to use as they start their scholastic career. The backpacks were generously donated by the Law Office of Lock Lord LLP.
“As another school year comes to an end and another group of students graduate on to Kindergarten, we can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride,” said Cheri Colson, Site Director for The Right Place on Sigourney Street.
“I feel as though a strong foundation for learning and exploring the world around them has been established for each and every graduate,” added Colson. “Good luck to The Right Place class of 2017!"
Newly appointed Salvation Army Hartford North End officers Majors Paul and Barbara Mason also spoke to the students, but their message was clearly aimed at the parents of the students. Majors Paul and Barbara both reminded parents that their children are sponges and that they pick up on everything they see and hear – good and bad. They stressed the importance of being strong role models for their children.
Sekienna Ellis, Parent Ambassador and head of The Right Place Parent Advisory Board, shared her unique perspective. As a parent of a child currently enrolled at The Right Place, her message seemed to resonate with the parents in attendance.
“I encourage all parents to get involved as much as you can and stay engaged as much as you can because it really does have a positive effect on the quality and the consistency of the education that our students are getting,” urged Ellis.
The excitement of graduating could be seen on the faces of the children. Many of them displaying a smile from ear-to-ear as they waved to their parents in the audience. Some children even raced across the altar to receive their diploma and backpack.
“You could feel a strong sense of accomplishment and pride throughout the room at this year’s ceremony from the students, families, and teachers that work so hard during the school year to prepare each child for Kindergarten,” said Taylor Pratt, Site Director for The Right Place North End.
For the graduating students of The Right Place, the journey has just begun. The steps they took towards their first diploma are the first of many in what hopes to be a fruitful academic career.
“As their journey at The Right Place comes to an end I feel each student is ready to embark on their next academic journey and use the building blocks of learning that have been instilled in each of them throughout the year through rich learning experiences,” said Pratt. “Congratulations to The Right Place Class of 2017!"
Each Center offering The Right Place, operated by The Salvation Army, is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which ensures the highest quality education for children. The program currently operates out of three Centers. Since its inception, The Right Place has educated hundreds of children, preparing them for kindergarten ready to learn.
The Right Place also wishes to thank Jennifer Pettit and everyone at The United Way, as well as Capital View for their support.