Incredible Years Preschool students in Great Bend experienced a drive-thru graduation last week, celebrating a milestone of completion during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

“It was not only a graduation; it was a reunion of sorts,” said Shari Schneider, preschool director. "Some of the students had not seen one another since spring break.“

Schneider said the drive-thru ceremony for the 10 graduates was very special in its own way.

“We knew we couldn’t have our normal ceremony because of the pandemic, but we wanted to honor the children and their families,” she said. “They earned this special occasion; we know how much it means to them and to all of us.”

The graduates and their families drove single-file around the Incredible Years building at 1312 Patton in Great Bend and were greeted by teachers who offered their congratulations. There were decorations, photos, balloons and bubbles and each child received a diploma, DVD, cap, medal and other mementos.

Grandparents attended too, some bearing gifts and flowers which were given and accepted while minding safety precautions.

“Parents thanked us and told us how excited the children were about this event,” Schneider said. “It was fun to see everyone. We hope we made this a special day for all the graduates and their families.”

Incredible Years Preschool is part of the Sunflower Diversified Services organization which serves Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is open to any child with tuition based on a sliding-fee scale. For more information, call 620-792-4087.