Goodbye preschool, hello kindergarten |

Goodbye preschool, hello kindergarten

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra Sun Students from Truckee State Preschool throw their hats to celebrate their graduation on Friday at Sierra Mountain Middle School. The ceremony was also a chance for Program Manager Susan Bruno to say goodbye before she resigns.

Families were shut out of the room and the ceremony started 20 minutes late.Parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters waited for the doors to open to the 2004 graduation ceremony for Truckee State Preschool, held in the Sierra Mountain Middle School cafeteria. When they entered, they found it was worth the wait: A bland cafeteria had been turned into a rainbow of color, with balloons, murals and decorations covering each wall. At each table was a photo of their child in cap and gown.

Truckee State Preschool is a program funded by grants from proposition 10. Students in the Truckee program typically come from low-income and Spanish-speaking households. The priority of Truckee State Preschool is to expose the children to English in a practical way – through useful day-to-day vocabulary practice and involvement in the community.The 28 graduates, with girls in red robes and boys in white, went in front of their classmates and families to receive their diplomas and gifts, including a “Transition to School” backpack.Students who only missed one day of school received a certificate for outstanding attendance. Preschool Program Manager Susan Bruno also recognized the parents who went above and beyond in the classroom.

In addition to saying goodbye to the easy preschool life, the students and parents also bid farewell to Bruno, who resigned from the preschool after more than three years. Next year, Bruno wants to do missionary work in Central America.”I truly, truly believe in state preschool,” said Bruno, who started the program in April 2001. “I believe it makes a difference in a child’s life. It was great to start a program like that.”Bruno said she wants to continue working with Spanish-speaking parents in Truckee.

“I want to keep trying to change the face of Hispanic families in our community, trying to change how they are seen in the community,” she said.Also, like any other preschool, the students have a good time.”I truly believe that the children had fun,” she said. “I truly believe that the children will have memories.”

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