(Class of 2017)
Master of ceremonies, invited guests, staff and children of Ivy League Nursery, parents; a very pleasant good afternoon to you all. I stand here, a representative of the parents of the graduating class of 2017 to perform the paradoxical task of paying homage to the institution that has served as a second home to our kids; for some of us as long as four years.
An author once wrote... “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which everyone leaves a mark.”
I am sure as parents we are acutely aware of how difficult it is to procure good childcare. For some of us it was a very distressing and daunting time to think of entrusting the care of our children to someone else. There was also that niggling thought that they would not receive that individualised attention and care that they would have grown accustomed to from us as parents. Sandra and her team were and still are second to none in ensuring that our minds were put at ease; even though each child had different key workers, each stage left an indelible mark on their lives.
One of Denese’s (Josiah's mum) fondest memories with Josiah was how easily he gravitated towards Ellen, Jo and the nursery babies and that gave her comfort that she had found the right environment for him.
This sentiment is echoed by all parents represented here today.
Each of our families would have come away from this era with a vast array of different experiences. The most common is one that as parents we all echo – How much the children feel as part of a family at school.
I am sure our ears have grown weary of hearing about the adventures of our pre-schoolers at nursery. Keith and I hear from Karrae-Abhy about her escapades with Anjola, Emilia, Fleur and Latif to name a few.
I imagine waking them up each morning would have been a greater challenge had it not been for the friendly environment created by the staff at Ivy League.
In a society as racially diverse and multicultural as ours, we cannot express how important a lesson it was for the children to appreciate this concept, this early.
Beverly and Stephane (Fleur's parents), have looked forward to the Christmas calendar every year to see which African costume little Fleur would be all dolled up in.
Thank you Aunty Carol that this was also reflected in your kitchen, so much so that Anjola has declared your Jollof rice to be better than her Mum’s!
Ivy League has been paramount in pioneering an appreciation for differences in culture.
From discussions with other parents of similar aged children going to primary school, it is safe to say that on average, students leaving Ivy League Nursery are better equipped to make the transition to reception and are from all appearances, working at a more advanced pace than some of their counterparts; enjoying a more well-rounded experience.
Pierre, among others, remembers the lovely experience he had at Horniman Museum & their class trip to Croydon; not to mention their own Nativity production at Christmas time. I am sure many of us look forward to the annual sports day extravaganza; a time of the year which brings out the competitiveness in not only the students but the parents as well.
Tanika (Kai's mum) and Kai think of it as a memorable event that brings all the staff, parents and kids together.
Dee promises to keep us updated of Josiah’s sprinting accomplishments when he becomes the "Usain Bolt of his generation".
We the parents are pleased with the advancements made by our kids in their Reading, their Mathematical skills, their Knowledge of History ( I didn’t know anything about who discovered traffic signals), their ability to identify animals in their natural habitat and how about to assist with travel plans? For example, reading traffic lights, identifying different trains, identifying modes of transportation and their knowledge of safety and security on the roads as well as adhering to rules.
Joshua (Kiki's dad), in particular, has said that all these developments have helped him to see Kiki mature from a baby into a confident and happy child; ready for primary school.
I believe it was Ever Garrison who said, “A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom in her pupils.”
We have watched them grow, from staring all wide eyed at the older kids who could ring the doorbell on their own, to strolling up confidently and pressing it themselves with very little help.
Some of us here have been with this institution from nursery, through to toddlers and onto pre-schoolers, through the absolutely exhilarating time of potty training, the seemingly endless accidents and the unwavering patience of the staff.
Others like myself, with Karrae-Abhy, would have joined somewhere along the way, but would have enjoyed no less an experience. This year we all ended with Merelda.
While we are eternally grateful for the input that all members of staff would have had with our children, I am sure I represent everyone when I say what a fantastic job Merelda has done with our pre-schoolers.
Her genuine passion and drive to see her children succeed and excel into realms well beyond their years is a true asset to her profession. Thank you Merelda!
We know, at home, when anyone in Nursery has had a run in with Sandra.
"WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE NURSERY…?"
A firm but very reasonable disciplinarian and a very approachable nursery manager, even when we ring the doorbell at 7:59am. LOL.
Keep up the good job Sandra!
In closing, it is said that the Heart of an organization is not measured in size but by the depth of its commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
We can truly say that Ivy League Nursery represents such an organization.
Today we are happy to celebrate the accomplishments of our kids and the start of a new chapter in our lives, but it is also a sad day as some of us say goodbye to Ivy League Nursery (some of us, for now).
Thank you Austin and Karen for your ingenious brain child!
We are extremely grateful.