I am attending two high school graduations in the next two weeks, and the Literacy Council is hosting its own version of a Commencement Ceremony on June 17th. June is an exciting time for transitions and celebrations. I often compare The Literacy Council’s Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony to a high school graduation because there are definite similarities and yet, distinct differences between the two as well.
High school graduation ceremonies celebrate the successful completion of 12 years of education and the beginning of life as an adult with choices about continuing education. The event is filled with emotions of excitement, anticipation, and finality as young people face the new reality of days not filled with school, homework, and a built-in social network. The young graduates are finished with one chapter of their lives and now will choose a path to advance to the next, whether it’s for work, travel, college, or family-a world of opportunities to grow and learn. It’s definitely a cause for celebration any way you look at it.
The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s event celebrates success but not necessarily completion. More often, for Literacy Council learners it’s only the beginning of their educational journey. The same emotions of excitement and anticipation fill the space but not the finality of a required education. The excitement and anticipation speaks to how much they have accomplished to date and how eager they are to learn more. Education is choice. Most of our adult learners are making tremendous sacrifices to attend class or weekly tutoring sessions. And it is not days filled with school, but days filled with work pressures, family obligations, and balancing time constraints; school is squeezed in as a luxury.
LCNV’s Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony is a big celebration, too. Literacy Council learners have made an important and life-changing choice. We celebrate their progress, their sacrifices, their persistence, and hopefully provide the encouragement they need to keep learning and growing.
Congratulations to successful learners of all ages.
~ Patricia M. Donnelly, Executive Director