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Andalusia Head Start holds drive-thru graduation

The drive-thru line at Andalusia Head Start looked a bit different On Thursday, as 19 children graduated from the program.

Children’s heads popped up through sunroofs and tailgates of SUVs as teachers greeted the line of cars with cheers, waves and diplomas. Preschoolers were being treated to a drive-thru graduation.

Of the 51 total students, ages three to five years old, at Andalusia Head Start, 19 were graduating.

“After being told we could not have a ceremony due to COVID 19, brought on confusion to many of the children, particularly the older students and parents,” ERSEA coordinator Kimanisha Trawick said. “Head Start staff members determined that they needed to do something to lift the children’s spirits and we just couldn’t end the year without doing anything. We are more than a preschool,” Trawick said. “We are a family, and families celebrate major milestones — and this is ours.”

With the sounds of “Whitney Houston” and “Greatest Love of All” flowing from large speakers, the children leaned out car windows with their Head Start shirts on and a graduation cap with 2020 tassel.

“The program started with an opening prayer by Teacher Faye Johnson along with Tabitha Samuel coordinating the program,” Trawick said. “Each student’s name was called out in order for him or her to step out of their cars and receive their diploma.” The diplomas were given by their teachers, Faye Johnson, Leila Kirkland, Tina Stewart and also the Teachers Asst. Regina Turner, Clarice Benson and Marion Crittenden with the help of Melonie Moody and Trawick.

After brief remarks from Tabitha Samuel, Center Director, the students drove away waving proudly along with the parents saying, “We done it. On to Kindergarten.”

“On behalf of the Andalusia Head Start we would like to thank each parent for allowing us to give your child a Head Start in life,” Trawick said. “Once a Head Start Family always a Head Start Family. We made History with a Drive-Thru Graduation.”