UNT’s CYC hosts first graduation ceremony

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 08:24
College of Education’s Interim Dean Ruthanne “Rudi” Thompson awarded diplomas at the ceremony
College of Education’s Interim Dean Ruthanne “Rudi” Thompson awarded diplomas at the ceremony

DENTON (UNT), Texas – The Center for Young Children (CYC) held its first ever graduation as part of Spring 2024 Commencement ceremonies at the University of North Texas.

“The most wonderful part about the commencement ceremony is that it’s just a celebration of them and all the things that they’ve learned, and they’ve grown so much,” said Amy Via, associate director of the CYC.

The ceremony was held at the CYC where family, friends and teachers cheered on the 10 graduates. Each child, in their gown and caps that they made themselves, received a “diploma” and handshake from the College of Education’s Interim Dean Ruthanne “Rudi” Thompson.

“Seeing their bright young faces, I am reminded of the profound impact early education has on shaping the trajectory of a child's life,” Thompson said. “Each child's journey is unique, each step a testament to the dedication of our educators and the unwavering support of their families. Through partnerships and research, we're shaping not only our students' futures, but the future of education itself.”

CYC students' decorated graduation caps
CYC students' decorated graduation caps

The CYC is an early childhood program within the College of Education and provides care and education for children ages three to five. It also serves as a research center and training site for College of Education students under the supervision of faculty and certified teachers and specialists. As part of the curriculum, teachers and children work together to develop critical and creative thinking, literacy, mathematical and other important skills in their early years.

“We’re building their foundation, which is beautiful and it’s a journey, it’s not a race,” said Sindhu Bhatia, director of the CYC. “I think all our kids have different pathways of exploring and expressing and I think overall as we get through this age, there’s different dialogues that happen.”

A CYC graduate stands next to a cutout of Scrappy
A CYC graduate stands next to a cutout of Scrappy

UNT sophomore Ava Henderson, who is majoring in elementary education, works as an assistant teacher at the CYC four days a week and finds herself in a position to teach and learn at the same time. For her, the graduation ceremony was a rewarding culmination of the hard work and dedication put in by her and the children she works with.

“It’s such a bittersweet feeling seeing these kids that you’ve known for so long now getting to move on,” Henderson said. “But, there’s also the rewarding experience of knowing that they’re ready to go and knowing that they’re set up for such success in their lives and getting to watch them take that next step is always just so exciting.”

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Media Contacts:

Devynn D. Case