Parents ask for 8:20 p.m. cheer for high school graduates
VANCOUVER -- When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of events and large gatherings, it meant a dramatic shift in how high students would experience the end of their schooling career.
No graduation ceremonies, no prom, no big dinners.
So parents in cities right across B.C.'s Lower Mainland started getting creative, looking for other ways to make this major milestone special.
A group of parents in Port Moody are now asking people to join in a cheer, on June 20 at 20:20 (8:20 p.m.)
"Similar to the shout out at 7 o’clock for the front line workers this would be a way to let all the grads know that they were being celebrated," said co-organizer Bonnie Stein.
Brianna Sidhu is about to graduate from Centennial Secondary.
"A lot of things have been taken away from us grads and a lot of us are feeling a little distraught about it," Sidhu said. "Everybody’s making us feel so special which just makes my heart explode."
Co-organizer Christa Saito is hoping people will grab pots, pans, anything loud.
"We want you to just make noise again, just like you did at 7 p.m., but it would be for grads."
Port Moody's city council is getting involved also, with Mayor Rob Vagramov declaring this to be Grad Week.
He’s also asking local businesses to place a sign in their windows to congratulate students.
Other communities have been coming up with different ideas also.
On June 15, students from Handsworth Secondary took part in a parade from their cars. Parents and family members drove them through the streets around Grouse Mountain and the community came out to cheer them on.
Graduate Ava Terreggiani was among the students involved.
"I have an older sibling so I always have this idea of the normal grad waiting through the whole thing, but I’m definitely grateful that I even get to have something like this," she said.
Check out more of CTV News Vancouver's Class of 2020 series online.