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Huge attendance at pre-school graduation

Palmdale – Larry Chimbole Culture Center – Pictured are a photo frame and a photo booth where parents could snap pictures of their graduates during the 2022 Educators’ graduation ceremonies on Thursday, May 19, 2022.

Students from six Preschool Without Walls (PWW) NAC groups were joined by the graduates with Wilsona School District’s Save the Children. Eighty-four little students were promoted and prepared to start their prescribed educational careers in a formal school setting.

Attending to support the educators, the students and the families were Chuck Bostwick, Assistant Field Deputy to Supervisor Barger, Tiffany Caldwell with Los Angeles County Planning, Vladimir Gomez, Board Member at Wilsona School District, Christina Fraga-Saenz, City of Palmdale Commissioner and Patricia Morales, City of Palmdale Community Programs Coordinator. Pens, pencils, decals, books, candy and chips were on the tables for the children to take home.

Erika Schwerdt was Mistress of Ceremonies. Sharing the stage with her was Maria Olegine with Save the Children, Debbie Lopez, Chief Academic Officer WSD, Tiffany Caldwell with Los Angeles County Planning and parents who gave testimonials to the positive impact pre-school has had on their child and themselves. One parent said, “I learned how to be a child again so I could play with my son and communicate with him as a child, and we could learn together.”

(Here is the leadership team that put the 2022 pre-school graduation celebration together for Strength Based Community Change (SBCC), Preschool Without Walls (PWW) and Wilsona School District's Save the Children.)

The students were adorned with a necklace of red and white mint candies. The students were so nicely dressed and made the event more colorful and exciting. They were all given a cotton-paper cap with an orange tassel. Everyone sang songs, clapped and danced together. In addition to their certificates, each child received a backpack filled with school supplies. The program was in both English and Spanish.

(The kids were right at school/home and eagerly responding with the singing of their favorite songs with musical accompaniment from musicians Pickle (left) and Cucumber (right) and their guitar renditions. Pickle is Robert Schwerdt. Cucumber is Basilio Hernandez.)

As the guests were ready to leave, Maria Olegine announced a package for each child was waiting at the exit and on the ground floor was a 40# box of fresh fruits and vegetable for each family to take home today.

SBCC Preschool Without Walls was represented by eleven members of the team, Save the Children was represented by seven members.

SBCC Preschool without Walls and Wilsona’s Save the Children thanked all of their amazing partners who have worked together on making sure a valuable difference in the children is made and they are helped to grow into amazing and kind adults.

Thank you goes to parents and caregivers who have truly demonstrated the idea that you are your child’s first teacher and with a village of support behind you and a community united against child abuse, we can make a difference in children’s lives.

You can make the difference. Are you interested in volunteering or lead Preschool Without Walls classes in your neighborhood? Do you want to participate in the NAC movement? Here’s where you would register:

To enroll your child ages 0-5 in the PWW program for 2022-2023 school year, please fill out the interest form here:

If you have any question about the Early Steps for School Success program with Save the Children, please contact Senior Early Childhood Coordinator Maria Olegine at

You can make a difference!

By Shirley Harriman


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