San Juan, Puerto Rico (June 8, 2020) – Vimenti School, the first public charter school in Puerto Rico, held its promotion ceremonies for its kinder, first and second grade students. The students managed to finish the school semester despite the challenges they faced due to the COVID-19 lockdown, lack of Internet connection and equipment to connect.
The ceremonies took place from June 2 to June 4 under tents placed at Vimenti’s parking lot inside the Ernesto Ramos Antonini Residential Complex. About 33 kinder students received their diplomas, while 58 first and second grade students were promoted to the next grade.
“I am very proud of our students’ achievements, particularly with the pandemic situation,” said Azalia Colón Millán, principal at Vimenti School. “I am also very happy and grateful to see how parents, family members, teachers and Vimenti personnel came together to support and encourage students not to give up and make the most of their distance education.”
The ceremonies took place with strict safety measures to prevent contagion, respecting physical distancing and using face masks at all times. Each ceremony covered one group and the children were accompanied by their mothers, fathers and/or guardian.
Also in attendance, in addition to the students and their families, were Eduardo Carrera, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico; Bárbara Rivera, director of Vimenti, and Lola Yglesias, Vimenti’s COO, who served as the emcee.
Kinder students received their official hood and diploma from Colón Millán, who officially declared them graduated. Just as it was during the kinder ceremonies, the first and second grade promotion ceremonies also had emotional speeches from teachers and parents showcasing the work from Vimenti’s team and the students’ own efforts.
“Giving our students a quality education has been our commitment since we started this project. For us, the most moving aspect of those days was when the teachers sent students hugs from a distance but the students asked to give teachers actual hugs instead,” added Colón Millán.
“Without your support this would not have been possible. Receiving calls from the teachers, the principal and the Vimenti Social Area team pushed us to give the extra mile for our kids,” said Melissa Ocasio, mother of a kinder student. Ocasio took the opportunity to say that, despite the circumstances and challenges they face as a family, they managed to buy their first home.
At the end of each ceremony, students had a photo session with their parents to capture the moment. They also received an educational gift and a packed family-sized lunch to go.
Vimenti personnel are now preparing to offer an Online Summer Program, which will start in early June. Vimenti School will be adding third grade for the 2020-2021 academic school year and 34 new kinder students will enter the school.