FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Fairbanks community has come together to create banners and signs honoring graduating seniors who will not receive a traditional commencement ceremony this year. Local vendors reached out to the school district with the idea of creating banners and yard signs honoring the class of 2020.
Several local vendors participated in the sign-printing effort, including Dateline Digital Printing, Auto Trim Design, and Advance Printing (Alex Bengel/KTVF)
Among the vendors participating in the effort are Advance Printing, Auto Trim Design and Dateline Digital Printing.
While some parents have picked up the banners honoring their graduates, some were distributed by schools as a surprise.
Shaun Kraska, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, said the school district sought to give schools agency in their style of recognition. “Every school has it’s own unique school feeling, its own school culture. So what we did not want to do is just give a cookie-cutter recipe, if you will, on how everything will look, because as soon as we did that we knew that we would stifle some of the individual character of each school,” she said.
Geoff Welch, the president and owner of Dateline Digital Printing, estimates that a few hundred signs for graduating seniors have been made at Dateline. Welch said he got the idea for the effort from a friend of his who was the parent of a graduate.
“We really want to have an impact in the lives of people, even if it's just through printing things on paper and plastic and that kind of stuff," Welch said.
He added, “It’s just a cool way for us to be able to help support our community, support students who aren’t getting the traditional experience here, and also help us to bolster revenue in a season in which things are a little bit weird for us.”
Though he says he graduated a long time ago, Welch recognized the unique experience of the class of 2020, saying, “I think students from 2020 are gonna have some remarkable stories to tell.”
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