Community supports senior class with displays, events leading up to graduation
COVID-19 has certainly changed nearly all facets of everyday life, but there are some traditions that not even the pandemic can prevent from happening. For decades, families of seniors at St. Charles North High School have proudly displayed signs in their yards to honor their graduating student.
This spring, the Class of 2021 will happily join in the tradition.
Volunteers typically put signs in seniors' yards the week before graduation. In 2021, however, the community is looking to celebrate seniors and all they've accomplished through these trying times a little bit sooner. This year's graduating class will pick up their signs, along with their caps and gowns, on April 27 and 28. Pride for St. Charles North's Class of 2021 will be clearly visible in the community for several weeks leading up to commencement.
"So many things have changed due to the pandemic, and we really wanted to give students the signs early to encourage them to finish the school year strong, show our support and make sure that each graduating senior receives a sign," said Laura Thomas, PTO President at St. Charles North High School.
In addition to displaying yard signs early, the PTO, school and other entities are working hard to bring as many events to the Class of 2021 as possible. Between now and graduation, seniors will be able to attend several events that, while slightly altered to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, will be reminiscent of graduation seasons past. The PTO is helping decorate themed rooms for prom and is running a large raffle at the annual Senior "Kick Back" event, as well as helping with support at several other senior events. Thanks to looser state and education COVID guidelines, St. Charles North will be able to have an in-person graduation this spring; something that wasn't possible in 2020.
"My outlook for the PTO this year has been to focus on what we can do instead of what we can't. Parents and students are always proud of graduation and want to acknowledge it. It's nice to be able to give them something like the yard signs for free to help them celebrate," said Thomas.
The PTO is able to distribute signs at no cost to the over 500 families with graduating seniors thanks to Gerald Cares' generous support. The organization has supported the senior sign project for several years and is thrilled to be a part of tradition that has such deep roots in the community.
"Gerald has supported the senior sign project for a number of years, not only to recognize and reward the seniors for their accomplishments, but also to celebrate the proud parents of the seniors. We're happy to give back to the community in whatever way we are able," said Deen Collins, partner at the Gerald Auto Group.
For more about Gerald Cares, visit geraldcares.com.