It feels like we’re hugging an angel.
It’s so fuzzy.
A sweatshirt may be just cotton, polyester and thread but for today’s Episcopal fifth grade class the garments mean so much more.
Fifth grade students and their families recently participated in the seventh annual sweatshirt ceremony during morning Chapel. This rite of passage marks the beginning of the children’s last year in Lower School. Father Skully advised them that they are now a collective community that will be together to support one another and grow together. They will now be seen as leaders of the Lower School. No longer are they known as the fifth graders – they are the Episcopal Class of 2025.
At Chapel there was excitement in the air as the younger children craned their necks to see the big kids and moms and dads stretched their arms to get that perfect photo. Each fifth grader was officially presented with their sweatshirt and photographed with their teacher. Later, the fifth grade teachers said this is essentially the children’s introduction to the concept of being a class and now begins the gradual process of them evolving into Middle Schoolers.
For second grade teacher Renee Crousillac, sweatshirt ceremony day is an emotional one. “It always makes me tear up. I love seeing them grow,” she says. Looking forward to Middle School, Mrs. C. offers the following advice for the Class of 2025: “Always strive to do your best and take risks.”
After the sweatshirts were bestowed and the official photo was taken, students and families migrated to the VPAC for a reception and more photos. For first year parent Laura Macias this is an especially exciting time. “I love the idea of them taking a leadership role in Lower School. My daughter is very excited,” she says. The smile and excitement exuding from daughter Sophia confirms this. When asked about the new attire, Sophia says “I think it’s really cool!”
Watching your child grow and achieve new milestones is a rewarding part of being a parent. Perhaps Sophia’s father James sums up the feelings parents experience best. “I’m scared. It will be here before you know it,” he says smiling, while reflecting on his daughter’s trek to graduation.
2025 will indeed be here before we know it. It won’t be long before today’s fifth graders are donning caps and gowns and making plans for college. For today, we simply celebrate the soft, fuzzy sweatshirt and the hope for a bright future.