Pint-sized graduates
June 12th, 2013
02:00 PM ET

Preschoolers graduate with pomp, parents swell with pride

By Daphne Sashin, CNN

(CNN) – Sure, the audience at Harvard University's commencement ceremony was treated to a speech from Oprah Winfrey, and grads at other colleges got to hear life lessons from a who's who of politicians, scientists and artists.

But those moments could not compare to the preschool graduation performance at the First Family Early Learning Center in New Castle, Delaware, if excitement is any measure.

Each member of the graduating class was assigned to recite a poem or song for each letter of the alphabet to showcase all they had learned that year. ("D" for days of the week, "N" for numbers.)

Five-year-old Chase Winters had practiced his lines for weeks. When it was time for letter "K," Chase, dressed in tan pants and vest, along with a matching blue shirt and tie, approached the microphone and looked out into the crowd. His mom, Danielle, waited anxiously in the crowd.

"K is for kindergarten, we start in the fall; When we started preschool, we were very small; we're much bigger now, look how tall; so it's off to kindergarten in the fall."

"In that moment, I was filled with so many emotions," Danielle wrote on CNN iReport. "Proud that he had done a great job, surprised at how mature he has become, and sad that my baby is quickly growing up!"

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Filed under: Graduation • iReport • Preschool
In response to Newtown shootings, some states move to put guns in classrooms
Melissa Colyer, a middle school teacher in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, poses with a gun after a concealed-carry course.
June 12th, 2013
11:50 AM ET

In response to Newtown shootings, some states move to put guns in classrooms

By Lauren Russell, CNN

(CNN) - While most of the nation's students are enjoying summer break, teachers in a handful of states are studying not their fall curriculum, but how to take out an assailant.

In Ohio, Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun rights PAC, has launched a program to educate teachers on how to take down a gunman.

"We were mocked when we first said we wanted to teach this class," Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye, said. "People doubted if we could fill the class."

States tighten, loosen gun laws after Newtown

Yet more than 1,400 school staff members applied for the 24 spots first offered in late December, he said.

Interest in arming teachers has grown among some school staff, gun rights groups and lawmakers in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which 20 students ages 6 and 7 and six adults were killed in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14.

Photos: Teachers pose with their guns

Gun rights groups have sponsored classes for teachers in a number of states from Texas to Ohio.

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Filed under: Guns in school • School safety • Teachers