(BPT) - As students move forward to preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school and college, parents across America celebrate the achievements of their children, nieces, nephews and other friends and relatives.
A whopping 3.3 million were set to graduate from high school this year. A variety of graduations and graduation-related events are happening throughout the year. At the college level, students are expected to have earned an impressive one million associate degrees; 1.9 million bachelor's degrees; 780,000 master's degrees and 182,000 doctor's degrees over the 2018-19 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Because these milestones are such an important part of life, your graduate will want to preserve memories of friends, accomplishments and key experiences gathered along the way. If you’re a proud parent helping your student celebrate this transition into the next phase of life, here are some ways to make it extra special.
- Share the great news. Even if you’re not planning a huge event, you can still show pride in your grad’s achievement by mailing out personalized announcements that include graduation photos. Friends and family will appreciate hearing that your student has passed a milestone and moved on to the next stage of life. And the photo will give them a tangible memento they can display and keep. Choose special photos — recent and from childhood — to reflect your grad’s personality.
- Plan a personalized grad party. Honor your graduate’s individuality by creating customized signs, banners, tableware, balloons, favors, candy, a cake and/or other party gear that features their name, image, hobbies, school colors and logos, etc. You might even spring for a life-sized standalone cut-out of the guest of honor. Many personalized products can be easily created at the self-service Kodak Picture Kiosks at most CVS stores across the nation. In fact, most can be completed and returned on the same day they’re ordered. You can spread the projects out over a few months as you prepare for your party.
- Serve up your grad’s favorites. In American culture, love is often expressed through food. Whether your celebration will consist of a big party or a small, private family affair, putting your grad’s favorite food and drink on the menu will show him or her you care. Of course, that’s made easy now that graduation parties feature such a wide range of cuisines; consider ordering take-out from your grad’s favorite BBQ restaurant or having your local supermarket hand-craft beautiful sushi platters to serve to guests. Taste-test recipes in advance and quiz your grad on their favorites.
- Make a personalized playlist. Compile and record a selection of your grad’s favorite music to play at his or her celebration party. Sprinkle in other songs that may bring a smile; consider childhood favorites, tunes with sentimental lyrics, school fight songs and/or music associated with band, orchestra, theater or dance performances. Make note of songs enjoyed at events or even on the way to school or practice in the car throughout the year.
- Commemorate friendships through photo gifts. Your grad and his or her classmates will treasure their school memories well into the future if you custom-create gifts featuring their favorite photos. Digital photos can be brought to better light, and create more smiles, when they’re turned into functional items like keepsake boxes, calendars, mugs and magnets on KodakMoments.com. Plan ahead by taking group photos at special events throughout the school year.
Your child will remember graduation celebrations for years to come — and have keepsakes to treasure — if you personalize every element. Start planning the details now so you can be ready by the graduation day.