Israel PreK Graduation from UCP

 Back in late June we were invited to Israel's preschool, the United Cerebral Palsy center of Brooklyn. They hosted a pre-K graduation ceremony that was absolutely beautiful!

Each class paraded into the auditorium and presented a song onstage. Israel's class sang "The Wheels on the Bus" and it was so cute! He loves that song. Right before his class went onstage, his teachers put on a yellow bus shirt and he was REALLY distracted by the shirt. He couldn't participate in the song because he was so focused on his bus!! His occupational therapist, Malka, helped him walk into the auditorium and on the stage. She tried to get him to participate but he just couldn't let go of his bus shirt! I've never seen him have stage fright in any capacity so I think he was just concerned that the bus might fall off his shirt.

The room was decorated with stars holding the graduate's faces. The theme was "blast off" into kindergarten, I think!

When Israel saw us he couldn't stop cheesing over at us and waving. It was so cute, we were so proud!!

Israel on stage: 

One thing that Will and I enjoyed about the graduation ceremony was the joy and pride of all of the parents. All of the kids in the ceremony have disabilities. Some kids couldn't participate, required lots of help, were having trouble being there, etc. But these parents (us included) could have been watching our kids graduate Harvard. Seeing our kids sing and participate with peers is a dream. Celebrating the huge milestones accomplished in pre-K was a uniting factor for us. It was beautiful and one of those "why me?" moments where we felt so humbled and grateful to be in this community of special needs parents. 

These pictures weren't taken at the ceremony but here are two of Israel's pre-K therapists. His PT Chaya was WONDERFUL and I really appreciated that she sent me regular updates about Israel's progress.

His OT Malka truly seemed to care for Israel and was always so excited for him and sweet with him. 

Israel's pre-K bus team was awesome. They always welcomed him and cheered for him.  He loved riding the bus!

Our pre-K experience was wonderful at UCP. I was really sad and teary on the last few days of school because it was saying good-bye to the UCP organization as a whole. Israel was a part of the UCP organization in Alabama, and was even a poster child one year!  We love UCP and know that we wouldn't have the same story without them in it. The therapists, social workers, teachers and community we gained from this organization has shaped us and helped us in uncountable ways! I'm so thankful for God's provision of the right people at the right time for our special needs journey. I'm thankful Israel had an excellent first year of school in Brooklyn, and that he was able to make so much progress! 

Israel is in kindergarten at a new school now, and I will update soon about that!


  1. This makes me tear up! I love to read about his progress and your unending support and pride! It's so inspirational to me!


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