CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School students celebrated their final day as fourth-grade students Thursday afternoon. Before an audience of friends and family, the class of 139 received certificates and advice for middle school from teachers, administrators and even their classmates.
"Never, ever, ever be a bully," said Jehanne Lucia Antonio, a fourth-grade member of the student government. "I'm serious," she said, "being a bully is just wrong."
Fourth-grade student government member Ethan Arnone also spoke, "I'd like to thank all the parents here, we couldn't have done it without you." He also thanked the school's teachers, saying, "We all know how much effort you put into teaching us."
The scene was a flurry of camera flashes and flittering of programs as parents tried to capture their little ones singing and stay cool through the near record-breaking heat.
Though most describe "moving up" ceremonies as bittersweet, at least one parent described the moment as just sweet.
"She's actually looking forward to moving up," said Jim Grimes, about his daughter, Katharine. Grimes said she is mature for her age and is looking forward to having more freedoms, like walking to class on her own.
"Its interesting to hear the parents say, 'Are they going to be OK?' " said Grimes, as he described a confident and excited daughter heading to middle school. His son, Sean, also moved from kindergarten to first grade Thursday.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.