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Pre-K Graduation sends off one dozen RLCF Children’s Center students

The Rend Lake College Foundation Children’s Center (RLCFCC) graduated 12 students from the Pre-K class last Friday in the RLC Theatre. In addition to receiving their diplomas, the dozen students also sang the alphabet song and watched a slideshow from their last year at the RLCFCC.


The RLCFCC Class of 2017 is, FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT, Gia McPhearson (Benton), Layla Thompson (Sesser), Cloe Allen (Bonnie), Lennon Shively (Mt. Vernon), and Brystol Bilderbeck (McLeansboro); MIDDLE ROW, Branson Rankin (Ina), Cole Carpenter (Waltonville), Gabriel Hays (Ina), Jansen Suhling (Ina), Breckin Suhling (Ina), Crosby Cox (Benton), and Aydyn Skidmore (Mt. Vernon).
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

Opening the ceremony, RLCFCC Director Brooke May welcomed family and friends, and thanked them for their support over the last year. She said, “Once you come to the RLC Foundation Children’s Center, you are always family. Our doors are always open, and we invite you to come back for a visit.”

Pre-K Teacher Rene Crouse also thanked those in attendance and provided encouraging words for her students entering kindergarten next year. She said, “It’s been my pleasure to watch these 12 amazing little people grow and learn over the past year. They’ve worked very hard to prepare for kindergarten and I know they’re going to do great next year.”

Mackenzie Smith of Goreville, a 2004 RLCFCC Pre-K graduate and former resident of Benton, also addressed the audience and spoke of her five years at the center. In fact, Smith’s impression of the RLCFCC has lasted throughout her life and is one reason she will attend Murray State University this fall to major in Early Childhood Education.


Former student and speaker Mackenzie Smith

“In my years here, I had some of the richest learning experiences of my life. The Rend Lake College Foundation Children’s Center is the brightest example of expanding educational horizons and portraying excellence in action,” said Smith. “There is no better educational foundation than right here. Not only did my teachers care and help make me smarter, but they made my heart bigger. This center is so important to me because, at this early age, brains are like sponges, ready to soak up all you have to offer, and are ready to foster a love for school like I did early on.”

Graduates and their families alongside RLC faculty and staff enjoyed a reception following the graduation ceremony in the RLCFCC’s new addition, the Skill Development Room.

More photos can be found on RLC’s Flickr page.

HatToss Classof2017W

They did it! Congratulations RLCFCC Class of 2017.