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Marco’s first grads are the littlest ones

QUENTIN ROUX
Q@MISUNTIMES.COM
The pre-school graduates perform a song for parents and friends.
  • Before accepting their certificates, the pint-sized students sang for the 200-or-so people in attendance, while dozens of cellphones captured personal moments for posterity

Broad smiles, awws and just a tear here and there marked the next step in the lives of Marco’s littlest graduates – 40 students at St. Mark’s Preschool.

Jennifer Barnett waves to catch her graduate daughter Alice's attention, while Barnett's mom Marian Colli prepares to catch the action on her phone.

Before the formalities, volunteers made sure they looked perfect in their gowns and caps before heading from a vestry staging area into the church. Then, one by one they walked down the center aisle to the front.

Giuliana Sanzera recharges her batteries before the start of the ceremony.

Before accepting their certificates, the pint-sized students sang for the 200-or-so people in attendance, while dozens of cellphones captured personal moments for posterity.

Lucas Baldwin, center, anticipates this tassel turning thing on his cap.

“The graduation gowns were lovingly sewed by St. Mark’s (Episcopal) Church members,” said school director Peggy Totten. “This was the school’s fifth graduating class.”

The school is part of a voluntary prekindergarten program that is funded through the State of Florida. There is no cost to the parents to enroll their child in the program. Children must be 4 years old by September 1st of that school year in order to enroll.

Unaware of the photobomb, Brenna O'Farrell has her cap adjusted.

Mission

As it mission statement, St. Mark’s Preschool says it “promotes an environment where the children are comfortable, valued, and respected as capable individuals. We believe that children benefit from spending time outside exploring their natural world. Being in the great outdoors, investigating the earth, and learning to love the written word is the focus of (the school).”

Totten and her family have lived on Marco for 13 years. She is a history, geography and art major, and also has a teaching certification. She has studying abroad in Poland, and has lived and taught in New Zealand, Alaska, Wisconsin, and Florida.

Alice Morgan joins the rest of her graduating class in a song.

For information about enrollment, visit . http://elcofswfl.org/parents-vpk-enrollment.php.