Grad Walk 2021: Seniors visit elementary schools

On Tuesday, May 25, Craig renewed a tradition that started several years ago.

Graduating seniors visited their elementary schools for the annual “Grad Walk.”

Busses were loaded and seniors visited their elementary or parochial school.

For Craig’s seniors who attended Roosevelt, St. John’s, or St. Paul’s, it was a short walk.

Seniors donned their caps, gowns, and honor cords to parade around the perimeter of the schools.

Roosevelt’s students lined the sidewalks and playgrounds, shouting their support and congratulations. Every student displayed a handmade sign.

In past years, students paraded through the halls to the gymnasium. They would line up and shared their elementary school memories and future plans with assembled students and staff.

Social distancing forced this year’s walk to take place outside.

But judging from the happy faces and excitement of both the graduates and the elementary students, the changed format made no difference.

The Roosevelt alumni circled the building twice.

On their second trip, they stopped to linger on the playground.

Many visited with their favorite teacher, Mr. Gunderson, who was outside with his phy ed classes.

Others hula-hooped or talked to the kids.

A few played basketball in a pick-up game against the elementary students.

To Julie Jenson, a third grade teacher at Roosevelt, the enthusiasm was palpable.

She reached out to the Criterion with an email to describe the students’ excitement.

She wrote, “As I was walking my third graders back into the building after the graduation walk, I overheard a bunch of kindergartners raving about it. One kindergartner was boasting to his peer and said, ‘Graduation is awesome!  Did you see that? I am going to graduate just like that!’  All of the others in that class started talking about it as well.  One little kiddo jumped off the kindergarten bench and yelled, ‘THAT was AWESOME!’  It was pretty neat to hear the excitement in their voices as I walked on by.”

When she returned to her classroom with her students, she engaged in a discussion with them about the event.

“My third graders also had a quality reflection after coming back into the classroom,” she wrote. 

“It sparked an interest in when you graduate, what you can do after graduation, who wanted to go to college and why, the different careers that some of my third graders are wanting to explore.  Among the list are engineers, electricians, business, graphic designers, and forestry workers.”

“Usually, I hear about students wanting to be professional athletes, doctors, and things like that. This year it was a wide array of careers and interests.”

She added, “Please pass along our gratitude to Craig seniors for their accomplishments as well as Craig staff for allowing them to join Roosevelt for this proud moment. We enjoy this event each and every year.”