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“I’ve got to tell you about my great niece’s pre-k graduation ceremony!” I love to hear the excitement in the voices delivering statements like this one when folks share stories with me about What’s Right in their education worlds. My colleague went on to say that Louise was one of 16 youngsters graduating from the United Cerebral Palsy™ UPC Program Preschool in Mobile, Alabama, last week. During the ceremony the preschool’s two veteran teachers described how this was a classroom of kids who really cared about one another and that this, they thought, was one of the reasons why each of them showed so much social and academic growth over the course of the school-year.

At the beginning of the year, two of the students could not walk; each of the sixteen students paraded into the graduation event in their red robes and mortar boards. At the beginning of the year, three of the students were non-verbal; each of the students now could verbally communicate. In addition, at year end one of the students was reading at a third grade level.

Louise1 Louise2 Louise3

Graduation was last Friday. Louise’s fifth birthday was the following Sunday. She received the birthday call from her Great Aunt and during the call exclaimed, “Aunt Sissy, did you hear my teacher say I had the best manners!?!” Recognize great behavior, performance, and achievement. Kids hear you and it sticks with them. It did with Louise. And remember, what we recognize gets repeated.

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Special thanks to my colleague for sharing photos from the event and reflecting on the experience. This is the first of a four-part series celebrating our Studer Education team’s kids.

For more information about UCP Programs in Mobile, Alabama check out their website at http://www.ucpmobile.org/ucp-programs. Follow them on Facebook and learn more about how to get involved on the Gulf Coast.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.