School officially ended for all my boys about 2 weeks ago. My dorm had all the boys in preschool, kinder, 1st and 2nd grades.
Jose Daniel graduated from kinder and will go on to 1st grade next year. He had a graduation ceremony and had to get all dressed up. We found out about this ceremony a good 15 minutes before it was scheduled to happen - but he was very excited to go and this was the only day of my 5 weeks with him that he gladly cooperated in getting dressed for anything. He kept saying, "they are going to give me prizes because I graduate today." Upon hearing this, everyone else decided that they would also like to go to school today as well. Except no one else had school that day except Jose.
Sammy, the b2b intern who was helping me that day with the boys, attended his graduation ceremony as his "parent" while I stayed behind with my other 13 boys. The thought that his mom didn't even know he was graduating that day broke my heart or the idea that he'd have to go without anyone to celebrate him and take pictures of him. Jose is a huge fan of Sammy and I'm pretty sure that if he had to pick someone other than his mom to attend - he would have asked for Sammy. I was super thankful we were with them that day and able to make a big deal out of his big day and be his substitute "mommys."
3 of my other children were invited to attend a "good grades" party. My boys, I've learned, aren't exactly excelling academically. But regardless - I was happy to see something positive associated with doing well in school. Back2Back has received a significant amount of grant money recently to help this particular children's home academically and we've now been able to hire special ed tutors to come several times a week and even one full time staff member who will tutor children full time and advocate for those who need to attend schools for children with special learning disabilities. I believe all of heaven is rejoicing with the news of this upcoming blessing that will truly change these children's lives.
Isreal (striped shirt) really brought home the bacon. He had the 2nd highest grades of ANY boy, any age from the ENTIRE children's home. That same morning before they told me that he was going to a good grades party, he was practicing multiplication flash cards in front of the TV... so I wasn't surprised. He won this awesome indoor play tent. The boys went crazy with this one - taking turns sitting inside or putting all the pillows inside.