We’ve all had to sacrifice special moments that normally we would be celebrate in a big way with family and friends. Easter, birthdays, anniversaries, proms and more have been canceled due to this horrific pandemic (the word COVID is a dirty word in our office so we prefer to not to use it. However, the one that really brings on the tears are our graduating seniors.
Here are some innovative options parents have this year for helping their high school seniors celebrate their achievement in a way that won’t put anyone’s health at risk:
Stage a Virtual Party
The virus outbreak has made online group get-togethers the new, safer way to connect. Zoom, Skype, Facebook Life and FaceTime (for Apple devices) are the best-known tools for getting your grad’s buddies together for a Class of 2020 blowout. But you can also live-stream on Instagram, and even YouTube (two live streams at once!). Make sure the kids spread the word though ALL of their social media channels (especially Snapchat). Draft an agenda that’s not so rigid the party goes flat, but not so loose it gets out of control. To keep the party inclusive, designate several students to pass the baton as emcee. And be sure to follow up afterward with links to where people can watch, listen to or add to the party.
Celebrate with a (Yard) Sign
The website, Dallas-based proudofmygrad.com offers non-generic yard signs for your non-generic teen. The colorful, 18-by-24-inch signs come with the name and color scheme of your grad’s high school, and their class year. You then personalize it with their name or a short message up to 14 characters. (“Luv’ ya, Allie!”). The site has more than 7,300 public and private high schools in the 48 contiguous states loaded into its database. You can order a sign at a discount for a family who can’t afford them. Meanwhile, if your grad and their friends choose to keep their signs, they’ll save on decorations for their future class reunions.
Create a Class Podcast
Don’t know anyone who does podcasts for a living? Buzzsprout.com can
help any parent host, then post, a class podcast, regardless of their experience with the medium. Get a variety of seniors to call in to offer their senior year stories, add in some cool sound effects, then make that year-end review available for years to come on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more.
Craft a Class Online Story Page
Another option to record this unique experience is to create a Class of 2020 Story page on Instagram or Facebook. Encourage graduates to populate it with their favorite reminiscences of their years in high school, their hopes and dreams post-graduation and the songs, videos and pop culture trends popular during their year. Add in the lyrics to the school’s alma mater, photos of the school itself, and comments from their teachers, coaches and administrators and you have an evergreen memory page they can return to in the years ahead. Those Instagram stores will vanish quickly, though, so you may want to recruit people to re-populate the page until everyone heads off to their post-graduation adventure!
We know it’s not easy and it’s not a replacement for the real thing – but consider this your raincheck until we really get to celebrate all that hard work you’ve been doing for so many years! Congrats to all those graduating seniors!
Thanks to Jeff Harrington for the help in compiling this list.
Do you have any suggestions for celebrating a graduating senior? Share them with us here!