CT Checkup: ‘Project Graduation,’ Cromwell community find creative ways to celebrate Class of 2020


CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) — Graduation season is looking very different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that isn’t stopping Cromwell parents from finding unique ways to celebrate their seniors. 

‘Project Graduation,’ a parent-volunteer organization in Cromwell, typically fundraises and plans graduation night festivities for high school graduates. This year, though, they’ve had to get creative to accommodate social distancing precautions. 

“We took some of the funds and repurposed it and did this flag presentation for each kid,” said Jennifer Corcoran, a parent-volunteer for ‘Project Graduation.’ “So each senior has their own specific flag with their senior picture that they designated for their yearbook.” 

A flag for each of the 123 seniors lines the driveway of Cromwell High School in preparation for graduation on June 15th. 

Although it won’t be a traditional graduation – as it will have to be a drive-by – the volunteers want these flags to serve as a visual representation of unity and support for the soon-to-be graduates. 

“I hope that this gives them a little bit of hope,” said Michaelle Budzik, another ‘Project Graduation’ volunteer. “That they know how much we care about them and how proud we are of them for all their accomplishments.” 

And parents aren’t the only ones stepping up. Cromwell Creamery, an ice cream shop in town, will have a ‘sweet deal’ for graduating seniors this weekend with the presentation of a school ID. 

“On June 6th and 7th we’re offering area graduating seniors the chance to come down to the creamery and receive a regular-sized cup of ice cream or cone on us,” said owner Maia Pavlick. 

Pavlik went through the Cromwell public school system herself and now teaches in the town, so making these seniors feel recognized is very important to her. 

“It’s really our pleasure to do something to acknowledge the amazing efforts of our high school seniors,” she said. 

And she says it’s not just her business that is showing support, but the whole Cromwell community. 

“We’re all rooting for them, we’re all wishing them well,” she said. “And I think at this time more than ever, people need to see how important small acts of kindness are.”

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