Project Graduation is the annual chemical free, post-graduation event for seniors. This is a chance for them to say their final goodbyes to each other and celebrate the end of their time at Winnacunnet.
“It’s a great wrap up to your high school career,” Laura Litcofsky said.“It’s an event to keep students safe that evening for a night that there can sometimes be temptations to do other things. Project Graduation is also an event to keep students chemical free.”
Laura Litcofsky and Heather Ziolkowski are both parents to seniors and decided to volunteer to help run project graduation.
Due to COVID-19, the usual plans for the graduation ceremony itself have been altered, which has changed the typical plan for Project Graduation. Typically, if it rains, graduation can simply be moved inside, but does not have to be rescheduled. This is not the case this year, so there is a chance that the ceremony will be held on Saturday morning.
“If the rain comes and we have to do Saturday morning, we didn't want the seniors to be out all night long and then getting back at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning,” Litcofsky said.
Therefore, the planning committee decided to shorten the length of Project Graduation. Rather than returning home early the next morning, the celebration will end at 1 A.M.
“We will have pizza immediately following the graduation ceremony then bus the seniors to Hilltop Fun Center,” Ziolkowski said. “There will be go karts, laser tag, batting cages, mini golf and arcade amusements. We will have raffle prizes and snacks throughout the night and then bus the students back to WHS for 1 A.M., when the event will end.”
Since the planning for Project Graduation began later because of this unique year, it has been harder to find local businesses to donate and sponsor the event.
“We are still working on trying to get sponsorships,” Litcofsky said. “That is usually done throughout the year and that hasn’t been done. So at this point we are sort of scrambling, but we have thankfully had some distribution from some places.”
Thankfully many people have stepped in to help.
“It’s been challenging to organize because of the short time frame to plan, but there have been many parents and WHS staff who have stepped in to ensure a successful event,” Ziolkowski said.
After the Graduation Ceremony, students will need to change into casual attire.
“They will have to have a parent or someone to hangout and stay and then take their stuff with them, because they will not be able to bring it with them,” Litcofsky said.
Students will then be checked at the door when entering to make sure they are not under the influence of any substance. They will also have their bags searched if a student tries to bring any prohibited items Litcofsky said that all graduates really need is their cell phone.
Since most of the event will take place at the Hilltop Fun Center, students will have to follow their masks protocols.
“They will be required to have a mask with them throughout the night and will be asked to wear them for parts of the event,” Ziolkowski said.
There is only one thing that seniors need to do to prepare for the event.
“Make sure you have signed up and that your parent or guardian has given consent,” Litcofsky said.
Project Graduation will offer seniors a unique, exciting opportunity for the Class of 2021 to celebrate their accomplishment together.