Project Graduation 2013 Goes Off

Montclair High School’s traditional Project Graduation for the graduating seniors went off without a hitch. The Class of 2013 was transported from the high school on about 11 buses to an arcade and amusement center, I Play America, in Freehold, N.J.

Project graduation 2013 celebrates the end to our seniors
Photo Courtesy of Jenny Friedman

Project graduation 2013 is a celebration for our seniors.

Project Graduation 2013 is an all-night party that is organized for MHS graduates and begins right after the graduation ceremony finishes. Buses transport students to a fun location where they can hang out and have fun with their friends until the wee hours of the morning. To make it even more special, it is funded and organized by not just parents, but members of the community and local businesses. It’s an effort of the whole town, and has been for the past 20 years or so.

The Project Graduation 2013 bus ride itself was the most exciting part for most of the students. Project Graduation 2013 was exhilarating to stick their heads out the window and cheer along with the hundreds of Montclairians who stood outside their homes and businesses yelling words of encouragement, honking their car horns and extending their arms for hi-fives.

“My favorite part of the night was definitely the bus ride,” said graduate Courtney McMorrow. “It was just great because seeing all the people standing on the sidewalk and cheering at our bus; it was  just so moving. It really shows how much this town has supported us.”

The venue, IPlay America, for the night featured many exciting activities including laser tag, go-karts, arcades games, bumper cars, bowling, carnival games and other fun rides and activities. There was a lot to choose from and the students really enjoyed themselves.

“I really liked playing laser tag. I think that was probably the best part,” said senior Eric Silverstein.

A lot of students found themselves winning big in the arcade and many could be seen on Midland the next morning hauling large plush stuffed animals and other prizes back to their cars.

Project Graduation 2013 also gave students a lot of time to get their yearbooks signed by their friends and classmates. A solid two hours were spent with graduates scuttling to and fro trying to get as many signatures and heartfelt messages as they could.

“It was really fun being with my whole class,” shared graduate Ben Sabin. “I liked being able to sign yearbooks and hang out, considering it’s probably the last time I’ll see some of them. I’ll definitely remember it.”

Senior Ethan Schwimmer agreed. “It really was a fun way to finish of four tough years of high school.”

However, despite the fun, it was a long night for everyone.

“I fell asleep behind an air hockey table,” admitted graduate Autumn Green.

Graduate Faith Hill was very exhausted by 2 a.m. “This is way past my bed time,” she laughed. “All the arcade games and activities just really wipe you out.”

Graduate Ethan Kramer agrees with Hill.

“It’s a really great idea and it’s so fun for the first few hours but at a certain point you just get so tired and maintaining that high energy you arrived with feels impossible,” explained Kramer.

While many were very tired and cranky by the time they boarded the buses at nearly five in the morning, they were happy they went.

“I mean it’s a long night, it really is, but I enjoyed myself,” said graduate Eliana McCann Smith. “I had a lot of fun and I’m glad I went.”

“Project Grad is great,” said graduate Keith Harrison. “It really is a nice way to bring us all together one final time. It allows us to look ahead, but still hold onto our friends and high school memories for one last night.”

Project Graduation 2013 is a pivotal part of the MHS experience. It signals an end to four years at the high school, an end to 12 in the public school system and allows for students to truly relish in the excitement and fun of their high school graduation.

Project Graduation 2013 is something that is remembered and cherished by all MHS graduates.

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