The long-awaited day is finally drawing near. Completing the ACDS program is a significant achievement. You have gained knowledge and skills to utilize in your profession as an early care and education provider. Not only have you acquired a new level of professionalism, but you have also grown as an individual.

For many, returning to an educational setting entails adopting successful study habits, becoming open minded to new concepts and viewpoints, and making sacrifices related to both work and home life. A bonus of having completed the program is reflected in the bonds established between you, your classmates, and your instructors. The journey has been a long one, but a well worthwhile experience.


It is policy that every fourth semester ACDS class has a graduation ceremony. It is the responsibility of the ACDS Local Council to ensure that the ceremony takes place. It is the responsibility of the class itself to do the planning. Council may elect to assist with the cost by applying for a mini-grant, available through the ACDS State Coordinator.

It's Your Day!

Because graduation day belongs to the apprentices, the ACDS Executive Council has taken the standpoint that celebration planning is to be done by each fourth semester class. The class should vote on what they would like and share this with their local council representative and their instructor.

If everyone in the class does not want to be involved, a suggestion would be to form a small committee to plan and make provisions for a class vote.

The following offers some suggestions for consideration on ways to make the occasion memorable. Keep in mind there are plenty of ways to celebrate inexpensively!

    Perhaps someone in the class knows someone or a business that might be willing to donate the use of a space.
    Party Themes:
    Examples: "Moon & Stars", "Apples For The Teachers", "Hawaiian Luau."
    Examples: "Most Creative Input", "Most Helpful", "Funniest Stories", "Most Inspiring".
    Consider arranging with each graduate's family members to be able to present their certificates.
    Memory Books:
    Inexpensive memory books can be made in class for everyone to sign at graduation. A variation of this, if funds allow, would be to purchase plain white teacher's aprons from a craft store to have everyone sign or record a memory on in puff paint.
    Everyone can record the recipe for their dish on one side of an index card (one for each class member) and an inspirational message or class memory on the reverse side.
    Consider having a class valedictorian or inviting someone from the community to deliver an inspirational message.
    Consider inviting a local musician who might be willing to perform for food!
    Consider memorable games such as "Who Said THAT??". The instructor might be willing to record anecdotal expressions of students in class throughout the semester. By typing these up and providing copies to all at the graduation party, these sayings can be used as a fun name-matching game, possibly for a prize.

Quotable Quotes:

"The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." - Aristotle

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

"There is good reason they call these ceremonies 'commencement exercises'. Graduation is not the end, it's the beginning." - Orrin Hatch

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." - Les Brown

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate." - Doug Larson

"The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go." - Dr. Suess

Music Options:

"Time Of Your Life" - Green Day

"I Hope You Dance" - Lee Ann Womack

"I've Had The Time Of My Life" - Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (Dirty Dancing  Soundtrack)

"The River" - Garth Brooks

"What A Wonderful World" - Louis Armstrong

"The Long And Winding Road" - The Beatles

"Graduation Day" - Chris Isaak

"Climb Every Mountain" - Sound Of Music  Soundtrack

"Pomp And Circumstance"

Classical piano or violin recordings

Toast graduates with this alternative drink laced with crystallized ginger for a festive touch!

Sparkling Apple Ginger Mocktail

4 oz. Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider
Splash of fresh lemon juice
crystallized or candied ginger

Pour sparkling apple cider into a cold Champagne flute and add a splash of lemon juice. Drop a piece of crystallized or candied ginger into the glass and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Jeanne Benedict, Celebrations Expert