// Rachel DeTellis
This year, each of our New Missions elementary campuses held a kindergarten graduation. In Haiti, the education system begins with two years of preschool followed by kindergarten.
Typically, students are five years old when they graduate from kindergarten. The fact that the child has reached his fifth year is significant, and we love to celebrate fifth birthdays in our schools. In Haiti, the mortality rate for children under five has gradually been decreasing—but it’s still much higher than most of the world. So, you can see why birthday parties and graduation for this age group are exciting!
The churches where graduations were held were decorated with balloons and flags. Everyone dressed up. Godparents held gifts for their students, and the emcee kept it lively but formal. I attended the Mathieu graduation this year. The little girls were decked out in pretty lime green dresses with blue sashes, matching socks, and hair bows. The boys’ outfits coordinated with the girls. The students made a special walk down the aisle, and shared dance, poetry and song. Pastor Adam Denny from Tignall Baptist Church in Georgia briefly spoke to the students and parents. It was wonderful being a part of such a special day. ~Rachel DeTellis