Mill Neck’s Early Childhood Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary & Graduating Class of 2016

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ECC Principal, Suellyn Giserman, speaks to family, friends and staff.

This year’s Early Childhood Center (ECC) graduation was one to remember. Not just for the 50 preschool graduates and their families, but for the entire ECC staff. “This graduation fell on a very special year—the ECC’s 25th anniversary year,” says ECC Principal Suellyn Giserman.

Many changes have occurred since the school’s inception 25 years ago. One, in particular, was the number of graduating students, which jumped from only 22 in 1991 to now 50 this year.  “For us it’s always a bit bittersweet because we get attached to you and to them,” she said with a full heart to an audience filled with proud family members, friends and staff.

After Giserman’s welcoming remarks, a mother of two children, both of whom were among the graduates this year, made her way to podium to reflect on her long road and emotional journey. “There aren’t any words that can explain my gratitude toward the ECC staff that have touched my children’s lives,” she said. “Mill Neck is a place that makes things possible that you never thought were possible.”

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A proud ECC graduate holds his diploma high.

The audience then turned in their seats with anticipation as 50 little graduates proudly walked down the aisles, some happily waving to their families. As the children gathered around the stage, they sweetly performed the ABC Song, “Good Day Sunshine” and “Wheels on the Bus” at the top of their lungs. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Right after, the lights dimmed as a slideshow appeared on the projector screen. The children squealed with delight as they recognized their faces and the faces of their friends.

At the end of the ceremony, the graduates accepted their diplomas from Giserman and Social Worker Cecelia Lynch. Cheers and applause roared throughout the auditorium as everyone jumped to their feet to celebrate the graduates and dance as Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” floated in the background.

The Mill Neck Family joins friends, family and staff in congratulating our little graduates and wishing them the best of luck as they head off to kindergarten and their new school adventures!

Founded in 1991, the Early Childhood Center (ECC) provides early and intensive assistance to children, ages 3 and 4, who may have deficits in speech, language/communication, cognitive and gross and fine motor development. Most children who attend the program graduate and attend kindergarten in their home school districts. The ECC is part of the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, which also includes Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, founded by Lutheran Friends of the Deaf in 1947. For more information about the Early Childhood Center, please call 516-922-4276 or visit: millneck.org/our-services/early-childhood-center-2/.

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The ECC graduating class of 2016 gathers around the stage to sing a medley of songs for family, friends and staff.

 

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