The Class of 2020 is getting a raw deal due the coronavirus pandemic. That’s been the general consensus among parents and community members dismayed about the fact that their seniors have missed out on traditional activities that are part of the rite of passage from childhood to adulthood–including Senior Prom, class trips and more.
A group of Saucon Valley parents is now trying to compensate a bit for the losses by raising money to help make this year’s graduation ceremony more memorable for those who will receive diplomas at it.
Commencement exercises are tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 5 at 6 p.m., when they will be held in the high school student parking lot and student dropoff circle, according to an email from principal Tamara Gary.
In order to maintain social distancing guidelines at the event, each senior’s family is only allowed to bring one car, Gary said, adding that additional details about the logistics of the event would be forthcoming.
“If social distancing guidelines are changed by the date of June 5, we have alternate plans that include having all seniors in cars in the parking lot and a large screen projecting the event for all to watch to make the event more of a class activity,” Gary said. “It is important to remember that we are required to follow all regulations and maintain social distancing. If guidelines are not followed, the only option is to make the ceremony completely on video.”
The GoFundMe campaign Saucon Valley parents have created will help compensate for the fact that the graduation ceremony–when held–will be nontraditional, no matter what.
It seeks to raise $5,000 that will be used to purchase commemorative t-shirts for all of the school’s nearly 200 seniors, decorations for the ceremony such as ballooon arches and towers, and cases of grass-safe paint which will be used to decorate sports fields and entry areas with celebratory messages. There are also add-on options like personalized banners and custom yard messages that can be donated to a specific person.
As of Tuesday, nearly $1,200 toward the campaign goal had been raised by 11 donors.
Parents who are interested in getting involved in the effort can find more information on the page and are also encouraged to join a Facebook group called Saucon Senior Parents 2020.
Some other nearby high schools have responded to the unique challenges associated with trying to make this year’s graduation special by creating “Adopt-a-Senior” campaigns that allow individuals to donate a gift to a graduating student. Palisades High School parents have created a Facebook group for just such a campaign, and creating one for Saucon Valley seniors is reportedly something that has also been discussed recently.
“We realize that the end of your senior year is not what you had expected, but we are very proud of the great things you have done throughout the entire year,” Gary said in the email to families. “Nothing can replace the time and experiences that have been lost to COVID-19, but we still would like to create as many memories for you as we can.”