EDITORIAL: T-shirts show faith in future graduates

Jul. 25, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

The year 2026 may seem like the distant future, but any parent knows how quickly a dozen years can pass.

In that relatively short time span, this year's first-graders will graduate from high school. Let that thought sink in.

No doubt, this is an exciting time for these youngsters and their parents as the children move from the comforts of kindergarten into first grade. Commemorating that right of passage, the United Way of Lee County has provided T-shirts for Lee County's rising first-graders. Its outreach, Project PK-14, focuses on the importance of pre-kindergarten through “grade 14,” or the first two years of college.

Lee County Superintendent of Schools Andy Bryan said the T-shirts — not extraordinary in and of themselves — make a significant statement.

“Every time students put on their shirt, they see that goal in front of them — graduating with the Class of 2026,” he said. “It's important for all students to realize how important graduation is for the success in life and to remember that they're always working toward that day and beyond.”

These students have a fair amount of homework, term papers, tests and projects ahead before they get to their high school commencement and beyond — not to mention all the trials and tribulations that come with growing up. A piece of clothing may seem like a small token, but it symbolizes the community's faith in these children to achieve, to overcome, and eventually to   earn their diplomas and degrees together.

They will be striding across a stage, wearing a cap and gown, soon enough. In the meantime, they will outgrow their shirts, and it will be up to us to remind them of the promise and potential their future holds.  

Thinking about high school for this group may feel premature, but our faith now will propel the members of the class of 2026 to success later.