8th Grade Graduations
Graduating from 8th grade is a time for celebration. Your graduate is moving on to high school, which often means kids will be going in different directions, to several different high schools. For most, this is the last of nine years together as a class and a good time to celebrate.
Ceremonies at this grade level often involve looking back to childhood experiences as well as inspiring words about the transition to high school and the students' bright futures.
While the graduation ceremony itself is the most important piece, the build up to the graduation ceremony is also important and can involve several fun events:
- Service projects
- Track and field day(s)
- Field trips
- A class play
Have someone take photographs and/or videos of each of these events so you can share the memories later at the graduation ceremony or party.
The Graduation Ceremony
A ceremony or service is often held to honor the grads. The principal, a teacher and/or a student will give a speech. Each one will be very different yet inspiring in their own way.
Show a slide show of pictures and videos taken over the years, including the events leading up to your eighth grade graduation (service projects, field trips, etc).
Some 8th grade graduations include caps and gowns but many do not. Some have caps only. Rhyme University offers cap and gown sets and caps only for middle school and high school students. The caps and gowns come in five different colors and a variety of sizes. A large selection of tassel colors is also available.
Give each graduate a diploma or certificate. While you may be able to buy these from a printer, free templates are available on the Internet. Simply Google "graduation certificate" or "graduation diploma".
One website we found, SuccessCertificates.com, has several free templates for graduation certificates and other awards certificates, honors certificates, etc. You simply download the free template and print as many as you need. The students' names can be handwritten (does anyone know calligraphy?) or for some templates you can type the names in before you print them.
Have your school principal or the homeroom teachers write a personal note on each certificate. Roll each one up and tie it with a ribbon in your school colors.
After the Ceremony Party
Plan a little celebration for the students and their parents after the ceremony. Have 7th grade parents (parents of the incoming 8th grade) serve refreshments - lemonade and cake, ice tea and cupcakes, juice and cookies. It doesn't have to be big and fancy.
Decorate the cafeteria or gym or wherever the celebration will be with jerseys from the high schools the kids will be attending. Place simple flowers on the dining tables. This is time for students and their guests to mingle with each other.
All Day Party!
After the ceremony and after the student/parent celebration plan a casual party for the grads themselves. It could be the same day as the ceremony or it could be another day.
Have the class meet at your local bowling alley for a couple games of bowling and pizza. Or meet at the local swimming pool. Do any of the parents have a pool or lake home? If the class is small enough maybe a parent will host a party where the kids can swim or boat or just enjoy some backyard or indoor games.
Plan a simple lunch or dinner - hoagie sandwiches or pizza.
If your party runs into the evening, show a movie on a large inflatable outdoor screen. Or show it indoors on a large TV. Find an age appropriate movie everyone will enjoy. Rated PG-13, "Happy Gilmore" is a fun and popular choice.
Before you plan your eighth grade celebration and party, decide what your budget will be and how it will be paid for. Will you set a price per child and ask each parent to pay for their own child? Will all parents be able to afford it? No one should be left out because of this. Will you ask parents or local businesses for donations of supplies or cash? Will you fundraise? Also, check with your school and PTO. They may have some money budgeted for this already.
If you plan to buy decorations, food from a restaurant or have activities at local entertainment places like a bowling alley then there will be costs involved and you'll need to decide what your dollar amount per child will be.
On the other hand, an eighth grade graduation doesn't have to cost a lot. You can ask parents for donations of drinks and food. You can skip the decorations entirely or go with creative ones like using jerseys from the high schools your eighth graders will be attending. And you can plan free activities by organizing backyard games at a parent's home or on school grounds.
While invitations for 8th Grade Graduations are not necessary, it might be fun to send them to Grandma & Grandpa or any other special guests you want to invite to the ceremony.
Pear Tree Greetings has lots of casual and fun invitations that can be used for 8th graders. And they offer small quantities at reasonable prices. You can get 8 photo invitations for as low as $9.99.