Fans of The Beverly Hillbillies will remember the running joke that Jethro (the most educated of the entire Clampett family) had "made it all the way through the 6th grade." Yee-Haw!
When this series originally aired in the sixties, no one celebrated such a modest accomplishment. Of course you made it through the 6th grade, and the 7th, and the 9th. Everyone did. It was expected that every student made it through to high school. The first celebration of academic accomplishment came when a student graduated from high school.
Now my Facebook feed is plastered with photos of parents proudly standing by their young sons/daughters holding diplomas commemorating their graduation from junior high/middle school and even grammar school. There are mentions of parties, gifts, and elaborate ceremonies.
Have Americans become that starved for acknowledgement? Have we reached the point where we need to celebrate each and every possible achievement in a child's life?
If so, I'd better get busy making plans for a celebration.
In two weeks, my 4-year-old granddaughter, Brooklyn, officially graduates from day care and she is considering furthering her education in kindergarten.
Eric Chester is an acclaimed expert on school-to-work transition. He has presented to millions of youth at thousands of high schools and colleges, and spoken to hundreds of companies and organizations that rely on teens and young adults as their front-line workforce. Chester is the author of four books, most recently "Getting Them to Give a Damn," and president of Lakewood, Colorado-based Reviving Work Ethic, Inc , a speaking and consulting firm. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.