Written by: Jodi Dyck
Living through a pandemic changed so many things for so many people. As many of you know the graduating class of 2020 was one of the groups that was particularly impacted by the restrictions required by COVID-19. Grad ceremonies and celebrations around the world were cancelled. Kids in grade 12 missed a lot of their lasts, such as their last band performance, last school trip, last season with their team, and last classes and exams which all culminate at the end of their 13 years of school. In Winnipeg, school sputtered to a close in March and never resumed. Social distancing meant friends couldn’t hang out and grade 12 classes would not get a chance to gather as a group to celebrate as planned, the end of all of their work and the new beginnings to come. Our neighborhood school, Collège Churchill High School worked hard to do what they could given the restrictions – a graduation parade and a drive by diploma ceremony. The parade surpassed expectations! Hundreds of people who came out to cheer on the class of 2020 – thank you Riverview!! It was a special and fun morning and I hope the graduates felt celebrated and acknowledged by the small children, elderly folks and all the ages in between who came out to cheer them on!
As many of you know Collège Churchill is a small school, and this year they had 23 graduates, many who have been in school together since kindergarten, and others since grade 7. This year, the advantage of being a small class was their numbers were within the provincial guidelines for a gathering. A group of students and parents formed a small committee to organize a dinner and dance. The Riverview Community Centre quickly responded to our requests within a very short timeline and helped provide a graduation celebration for the class of 2020. For the first time in three and a half months the grade 12s of Collège Churchill gathered together one last time to celebrate their years together, the end of school, and their wide open futures. With fresh flowers, white table cloths, and lights the RVCC was a beautiful setting for the grade 12s to wear their formal gowns and suits. Surrounded by the familiar walls that have surrounded events throughout many of their lives such as spring carnivals, summer camps, and pancake breakfasts, the RVCC space also gave Collège Churchill’s grade 12s a 2020 graduation night to remember! The grade 12 class of College Churchill made a donation of $342 to the RVCC to express their heartfelt thank you for supporting us! Many thanks to the RVCC, Collège Churchill, and the people of Riverview for the community we make together!