League of California Cities

Lancaster Finds Ways to Celebrate the Graduating Class of 2020

The City of Lancaster was determined to not let the COVID-19 pandemic stop them from celebrating local high school graduates. Recognizing that students would not be able to participate in traditional graduation ceremonies, the city launched its “Turn your Tassel” campaign which rolled out a series of creative and virtual ways to publicly recognize students graduating this year.
The City encouraged families to submit portraits of graduates so they could be featured on their social media channels. Many community members liked and commented on the posts which increased engagement and made the graduates feel extra special. The city also provided virtual photo opportunities and photo frames for students to use on their own social media platforms.
“We may not be able to have traditional graduations, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Although this will not replace a graduation ceremony and all of the other fun events a high school senior typically enjoys, hopefully it will help commemorate this special time in the graduates’ lives.”
In order to give valedictorians special recognition for their academic excellence the city recorded valedictorian speeches that are aired on Channel 28 (LTV) and were featured on social media. Graduating high school students could also request a customized certificate from the city as well as apply for a BLVD banner which were available for purchase at cost and will be on display until August.
With families at home, the city helped graduating high school seniors decorate their yard by providing 200 free "take home celebration" kits that included a lawn sign, graduation decor and a special surprise. The city also provided tips and resources to make at-home celebrations even more special.  

The City of Lancaster worked hard to spotlight the class of 2020, celebrate their hard work and accomplishments, and give them a virtual shout out to make sure they were recognized during this unprecedented time.

Read more about how #LocalWorks in the City of Lancaster.

This story was featured in the CA Cities Advocate Newsletter on May 20, 2020.
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