Five Easter Seals pre-k students receive diplomasPublished 8:44pm Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Parents watched with pride as five children graduated from the Special Preschool Education Center Wednesday morning. Each year, the Easter Seals of West Central Alabama send off a handful of children who have successfully competed the special preschool program.
This year, it was Kaleb Barnes, Shaniyah Craig, Lashun Lewis, Thomas Thompson and Carsten Todd, who donned white robes and walked across the floor to receive their diplomas.
Monique Barnfield, mother to four-year-old Kaleb, said she was overcome with joy to see her son receive his diploma.
“There really are no words to describe it,” Barnfield said after her son handed her a red rose. “Before he came here, he couldn’t walk or talk. It’s amazing to see how far he’s come.”
The Special Preschool Education Center is a service provided free of charge to residents. David White, administrator for the center, said the program was developed as a way to assist and prepare children who have developmental delays before they begin grade school.
“It was such a joy to see these children graduate from the program today,” said White, who served as the speaker for the graduation ceremony.
Before receiving their diplomas and giving roses to their parents, the five graduates, along with the rest of their classmates, sang “The Alligator Song” to their friends and family.
With the alligator puppet in hand, the children’s voices brought a smile to everyone in the room.
“This is just such a great way to celebrate these children and all they’ve accomplished,” said Dr. Sharon Streeter, director of the Dallas County Special Education Department. “It’s great to see them all smiling.”
Several local organizations donate funds to the program, making it so parents don’t have to pay for tuition or purchase any classroom materials.
White said the special preschool program wouldn’t be possible without The United Way, Pilot Club, Selma Charity League, The Little Lambs Council and several other clubs and organizations.
“This is a great program and we’re just fortunate to be able to offer it,” he said.