Speech on School Life

School life is a journey you will remember forever. It’s filled with lessons, friendships, and countless unforgettable experiences.

Your days in school shape your future. They mold you into the person you become, teaching you important values while making you smarter.

1-minute Speech on School Life

Good day, dear audience!

Let’s talk about school life, a journey that shines brightly in our hearts. School, you see, is not just a place where we study. It is a world of its own, filled with dreams, discoveries, and friendships that last a lifetime.

School is where we learn about numbers, words, history, and science. We get to explore the world in our geography class, and create beautiful artwork in art class. We learn about the stars in the sky, the creatures in the ocean, and the different cultures around the world. Every day is a new adventure, full of knowledge and excitement.

But school is not just about books and exams. It’s also about the fun we have during recess, the thrill of sports day, the laughter in the canteen, and the joy of annual day celebrations. These moments create memories that stay with us forever. School is about learning to dream, to aspire, to dare, and to create.

And then, there are our friends and teachers. They become our second family. Our friends are there for us in our laughter and tears, in our joys and sorrows. They teach us about friendship, trust, and loyalty. Our teachers guide us, inspire us, and help us become better human beings. They show us the path to success and encourage us when we stumble.

In conclusion, school life is a wonderful journey. It is full of learning, fun, and friendships. It shapes us, inspires us, and prepares us for the future. So, let’s make the most of our school life and cherish every moment of this beautiful journey.

Also check:

  • Essay on School Life

2-minute Speech on School Life

Ladies and Gentlemen,

School life, a journey filled with memories, lessons, joys, and challenges, is a wonderful stage in our lives. It is the time when we learn, grow, and shape ourselves. It’s like a movie, full of different scenes, emotions, and experiences. This speech is dedicated to the magic of school life.

Every morning, the school bell rings, marking the start of a new day. The sound of that bell brings a rush of excitement. We greet our friends, share stories, and settle down in our classrooms, ready to learn. Each day is a fresh page in our life’s book, waiting to be filled with new knowledge, skills, and ideas.

In school, we meet our first friends, the ones who stand by us during good times and bad. We share laughter, tears, tiffin boxes, and secrets. We learn the value of friendship, and how it can make our days brighter. We form bonds that last a lifetime, and these friendships become a vital part of our school life story.

In addition to friendship, school life teaches us about discipline and resilience. The school bell, the uniform, the rules, they all serve a purpose. They teach us to respect time, to be organized, and to follow guidelines. We learn to handle failure, to get back up when we fall, to keep trying until we succeed. This resilience builds our character and shapes us into strong individuals.

School life is also filled with extra-curricular activities. Sports days, annual functions, school trips, these are the moments when we get to express ourselves, to discover our talents and passions. We learn to work as a team, to support each other, to celebrate each other’s success. These experiences help us understand that school is not just about books and exams, but about overall personality development.

Then comes our favorite part – the teachers. They guide us, support us, motivate us. They are our mentors, our role models. They ignite our imagination, inspire us to dream big, and equip us with the tools we need to chase those dreams. They are the guiding stars in our school life journey, helping us navigate through challenges and towards success.

Lastly, school life is about memories. The joy of scoring the first goal in a football match, the pride of winning the spelling bee, the thrill of the school trip, the nervousness of the first stage performance. These memories are the gems that we collect during our school life, gems that we cherish forever.

In conclusion, school life is a beautiful blend of learning, friendship, discipline, self-discovery, guidance, and memories. It is the foundation upon which we build our future. It is a journey that teaches us, changes us, and prepares us for the rest of our lives. Let’s cherish this journey, embrace its lessons, and carry its memories with us, always. Thank you.

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Kindergarten Graduation Speech - Well Done To One And All

A kindergarten graduation speech marks an amazing and special milestone!

kindergarten graduation speech

You're looking out over a sea of faces in your audience - proud mums, dads, grandparents, family and friends - and indeed they have every right to be proud.

There is something special about a kindergarten graduation ceremony - innocence retained, journeys begun and dreams waiting to be achieved.

A graduation speech needs to pay tribute to each and every child - all so special in their own way.

We hope our free sample speech will get your creative thought processes going and we have no doubt that you'll add a bit, maybe delete a bit - either way - you are going to say it just right!

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and of course, most importantly, the girls and boys who are graduating from kindergarten today - this is indeed a very special day!

I am very aware that today is about the children and as such, my speech is largely aimed at the special young people sitting on stage today. Don't they look fantastic? I think they deserves a round of applause before we even begin! Today is all about you girls and boys. I know it is difficult to sit still for a long time - so I promise that I'll try and keep my speech as short as possible.

Stacia Tauscher said, "We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today." 

As parents and teachers we do put a lot of time and energy into preparing our children for their futures. And rightly so. We do indeed need to equip our children with life-long skills to prepare them for adulthood. It is our collective responsibility as we guide and mold the leaders of tomorrow -  for it is on them that the future will have to depend.

Today, as we pay tribute to the young ladies and gentlemen of tomorrow, we know that they have started their remarkable journey towards achieving this goal. This year has seen them grow and develop exponentially. They have learned so much. They have remained eager and enthusiastic and they have grown in so many ways. Our thanks and appreciation to all the teachers and the parents for the fantastic role that you have all played to facilitate this process.

Now, girls and boys...I need to tell you how very proud we are of you today.

You are all incredibly special people today, right now,  as you sit here in front of us. You have all worked very hard to learn more every day, you have played hard, you have made new friends and you have all tried to be a good friend too. Well done and congratulations to each and everyone of you - you can feel very proud of all you have done this year.

Our young children will move into a new year - a year with new challenges to deal with. As they move into their respective tomorrows so bright with goals already achieved and more dreams still to aspire to, we say to them...

Enjoy being four today with all your heart and soul... and worry less about preparing to be five.

Hold onto your uncanny gift of finding everything in nothing, of not only seeing seven wonders in the world - but several thousand.

"Work hard and play straight" and may you stay...in your spirit and soul...

Forever young!

In your kindergarten graduation speech pay tribute to our children - "they are the message that we send to future that we will not see" - John W. Whitehead

Return from Kindergarten Graduation Speech to Words of Wisdom Free Graduation Speeches and Words of Wisdom that Inspire


  • Speech about Life for Students and Children

Speech about Life

Good morning one and all present here. I am standing before you all to share my thoughts through my speech about life. Life is a continuous ongoing process that has to end someday. Life is all about adoring yourself, creating yourself. A quote for you that life can be only understood backward but it must be lived forwards. Life itself is a golden opportunity to live a meaningful life and support others to do so. It doesn’t matter how many years you live. But it matters how well you live a quality life.

Speech about Life

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The fear of death always threatens our lives. Every person has to face death sooner or later, but that doesn’t mean that it should discourage us from living life to the fullest or achieving our goals. A person is wise only when he/she is ready to meet destiny when it comes, but until that time enjoys every bit of it. It is a sense of readiness. It is a journey in everyone’s life wherein we have to cross the bridge of death to be able to wake up to a life eternal.

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Human life – A very Precious Gift

Human life is truly a very precious gift. Each moment of human life carries us an opportunity, to act to develop and express our virtues. Every moment unlocks the path to us to receive blessings. This is the truth that life gives us both positive and negative situations. What is really important is how we react.

Life is the gift of God in the form of trust that we will make it meaningful in whatever we can. We are all unique individuals. No one is born like you and no one will ever be, so cherish your individuality. Many times, I come across people accusing God of things that they don’t have. They always cursing their lives. But, do they realize that this life itself is precious? If we make it worth living and work hard towards positivity.

Life is a Journey, not a Destination

Life is nothing but a journey with lessons, hardships, heartache and special moments. It will ultimately lead us to our destination, our purpose in life. The road will not always be a plane; in fact, throughout our travels, we will face many challenges.

These challenges will always test our courage, strengths, weaknesses, and faith. Along our way, we may encounter obstacles that will come between the paths and we are destined to take.

In order to be on the right path, we must overcome these obstacles. Sometimes these obstacles are really blessings in disguise, only we don’t understand that at the time. The secret of life is best known to those who are not attached to anything deeply so much.

Therefore, they remain out of touch with worries and shifting fortunes of their lives. They are the people who do not measure their lives in terms of materialistic possessions, but by measuring their lives in terms of people they cannot live without.

Lastly, I will conclude that we should make life worthwhile. It should be with the love of our family and friends that life can be made beautiful. Life can be more beautiful and purposeful by discharging our duties in our family, at work, society and the world at large.

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Graduation Speech [20 Examples + Template]

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Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

graduation speech

Being selected as a commencement speaker is a great recognition, but the responsibility can be intimidating. How do you know what kind of message will hit home for the graduates at this point in their lives? How do you make your message stand out from other words of wisdom that the graduating class has heard before?

Fortunately, there are many incredible graduation speeches from which you can pull information. We’ve gathered 15 of the best graduation speech examples here to make your research and brainstorming process easier. A little studying can give you ideas for the perfect graduation speech topic and help you write your speech efficiently.

In this article:

Graduation Speech Examples

Graduation speech template.

Take note of the flow and structure of the examples, and let them guide you in creating your own graduation speech outline. Remember to practice your speech and memorize the bulk of it so you’re able to deliver with confidence. With a strong theme and plenty of practice, you’re sure to gain the audience’s attention and leave them inspired.

Here are 15 free graduation speech examples to gain inspiration from. If you like a style or message of a sample speech, use it as a model to create your own original version.

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1. Funny Valedictorian Speech

This valedictorian entertains the audience of his high school graduation speech with subtle, kind-hearted jokes that reflect the graduating class and the school faculty. The graduation speaker has a sentimental theme to his speech, but his light humor ensures that the presentation is both meaningful and memorable.

“You see, this is not goodbye. This is see you in two to 10 years when I’m significantly smarter, wealthier, funnier, and more handsome than I am right now.”

2. College Graduation Speech Example: Conan O’Brien at Dartmouth College

You don’t have to be a famous comedian to deliver a funny graduation speech, but let Conan O’Brien’s speech at Dartmouth College serve as a good model to create your own. Intertwining life advice and great jokes, O’Brien inspires graduates to get past failure and pave their own paths.

“Today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment, you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.”

3. Preschool Graduation Speech

This preschool graduation speech is a great example for teachers who need to give a commencement address. A speech for a preschool or kindergarten graduation is different, in that the speaker is mostly communicating to the parents of the graduates. This preschool teacher delivers a meaningful speech that explains the joy in her job, while touching on the humorous things the students have said over the months.

“Tomorrow I give you back your child, the same child you entrusted in my care last fall, except now I give them back to you pounds heavier, inches taller… I give them back to you a little smarter, a little more mature, and a little more responsible than they were 10 months ago.”

4. David Foster Wallace Kenyon College Commencement Speech

In what is recognized as one of the best graduation speeches of all time, David Foster Wallace affirms to a class of liberal arts students that their education taught them how to think and how to be self-aware.

“The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.”

5. Middle School Graduation Speech

A class president delivers a heartwarming message in a storytelling format at his middle school graduation ceremony.

“Once upon a time, three long years ago, a journey began. We were obedient little munchkins, climbing up stairs meant for giants, carrying heavy backpacks filled with every sort of colored pencil existing on this earth.”

6. University of Wisconsin-Madison Commencement Speech 2017

Steven Levitan, creator of the award-winning show “Modern Family,” was the commencement speaker at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the graduating class of 2017. This is a good example to follow if you’re an alum of the college you’re presenting to.

“It’s hard to believe I graduated here 33 years ago. I still have the official university photo of me receiving my diploma wearing only shorts under my cap and gown and holding a big bottle of champagne, as if to say, ‘Hey world, lower your expectations.'”

7. Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard University Commencement Speech

Successful people are often chosen as commencement speakers for university graduation ceremonies. See how the CEO and founder of Facebook is able to portray humility in relating to the 2017 graduating class at Harvard University.

“I’m honored to be with you today because, let’s face it, you accomplished something I never could. If I get through this speech, it’ll be the first time I actually finish something at Harvard. Class of 2017, congratulations!”

8. Al Roker’s Commencement Speech at Champlain College

Upon receiving his doctorate degree of humane letters, the “Today Show” weather anchor delivered an inspirational speech to the graduating class. Roker speaks to the class’s generation and relates his graduation speech topic back to his own upbringing.

“Be in the moment. Stop living through your screen. Experience it now.”

9. Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech at Stanford University

The Apple CEO’s commencement speech at 2005 to the graduating class at Stanford University is one of the classics. Jobs tells stories about his own experiences with dropping out of college, being fired from Apple, and being diagnosed with cancer.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of the other opinion drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

10. Elementary School Graduation Speech


This fifth-grade class speaker relates her teacher’s message to a lesson from her grandfather as her opening hook .

“To survive the fifth grade is not barely making it through. Instead, to survive means to perform with distinction.

11. Ellen Degeneres Commencement Speech at Tulane University

The famous talk show host and comedian Ellen Degeneres’s commencement speech at Tulane University is a great example of how a guest speaker can identify with her audience.

“It was so important for me to lose everything because I found what the most important thing is. The most important thing is to be true to yourself.”

12. University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address

Rear Admiral William H. McRaven aims to inspire his audience right from the beginning. The rear admiral encourages the graduating class to change the world, relating everyday life struggles to those of the people in the military.

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

13. Matthew McConaughey Commencement Speech

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey drew from his own personal story to deliver an inspirational commencement speech at the University of Houston. McConaughey gives the graduating class 13 life lessons, including to define success for yourself and find joy in your work.

“Prioritize who you are and who you want to be. Don’t spend time with anything that antagonizes your character.”

14. Commencement Address by Jim Carrey

In his commencement address at Maharishi University of Management, actor Jim Carrey tells an emotional personal story. Carrey uses emotion to encourage the graduating class to walk their own path and never settle in life.

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”

15. Stephen Colbert’s Commencement Speech at Wake Forest University

The famous comedian delivers a witty and funny graduation speech, offering students practical advice for the real world.

“And if there’s one thing you need even more, it’s your own set of standards. It may seem counterintuitive now, but once you leave here, you may miss being graded on all your work. Because when you’re out of school, there are no objective criteria for achievement anymore.”

16. Inspiring Graduation Speech

In this remarkable graduation speech, the class valedictorian makes a political statement by publicly revealing her status as an undocumented immigrant. The speech starts out with jokes, but turns into a moving performance that’s as powerful as it is fun to watch.

“To each and every single one of you, I say thank you. You taught me that it’s okay to be different and that there will always be people willing to overlook those differences and accept you for being yourself.”

17. Funny Graduation Speech

This class-elected graduation speaker has the perfect delivery of well-crafted jokes and one-liners throughout her speech. She keeps the whole class laughing and never misses a beat.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to pursuing an additional 4-year education – which I can’t afford.”

18. Moving Graduation Speech

This college graduation speech educates listeners about women’s education through the eyes of the speaker, who encountered resistance to seeking an education just because she was a woman. It’s nearly impossible to listen to this speech without feeling moved to take action.

“I couldn’t have imagined attending college, simply because we weren’t allowed to. My sisters weren’t allowed to; the girls before me weren’t allowed to.”

19. Funny Graduation Speech

This graduation speech by the senior class president is humorous and engaging. The class president reminisces with plenty of jokes in a speech full of fun memories and just the right amount of inspiration.

“I know we can all agree that this class is resilient. We survived an earthquake, two blackouts, and Ebola.”

20. Short Graduation Speech

Graduation ceremonies can be long, but the speeches don’t have to be. This short graduation speech uses an “ABCs of life” format to pack a lot of power into a short amount of time. The class president gets wild applause from the audience for his quick but clever speech.

“We must Q – quit quitting, and R – run the race with patience.”

  • Thank teachers and your parents or other family members for their support, encouragement, help, aid or personal assistance during your years of studying.
  • Praise accomplishments and achievements of the class.
  • Reflect upon the past years, what has changed and is interesting enough to share with all?
  • Mention funny and exciting events, you can opt for funny oneliners or even small innocent jokes, poems or quotations from famous people if you like.
  • Motivate your fellow students and teachers and professors to look to the bright future:
  • I continue with the 10 most wanted and popular graduation speech topics:
  • Give advice, but avoid boring cliches that are totally not surprising.
  • Entertain by telling humorous anecdotes and vivid stories. Offer an account of an interesting or humorous incident.
  • Express the feelings of the class. But do not go over the top.
  • Say farewell to all attendees. This acknowledgment at parting is the warming-up for the next and final step
  • Wish the graduates of your class all the best and thank them for listening.

Don’t forget to:

Thank the parents and family.  Have your class honor them with applause. Not only have they made sure you showed up to school, there’s a host of other responsibilities that parents have sacrificed to accomplish for you. Now is your moment to focus on them for a minute or so.

Thank the teachers and administrators.  Each teacher or professor works many long hours that you don’t see in the classroom, and many have poured their hearts and lives into teaching. Take this moment to make it worth it for them.

Use some of my vote of thanks example expressions to feed you imagination for topics for graduation speech a little bit.

Make the address personal. When you decide to make your graduation speech personal, you will experience much bigger success. It will also be more fun to write and deliver a talk that brings high school or college to a close with recognition of the small things in education life. The memories you will run across looking through yearbooks and talking about with friends will be priceless for you as well.

Calm the nerves.  It is very intimidating to address hundreds of people in the audience while delivering a graduation speech. Many of us have fear of public speaking. Before you proceed, do this test. And practice the tips.

Consider including:

STORIES Include stories about your school. These high school graduation speech topics can be about teachers and funny things that have happened over the year.

EVENTS Include motivational or moving events that may have happened – perhaps volunteer opportunities that have changed the students’ perspective. Make sure that any major events that have happened are recognized.

Sports and music events that have been important to the school need to be recognized, even if it happened in one of the prior years of your class and not the graduating year.

CLASS EXPERIENCE Bring the class experience alive for those attending the graduation. Grandparents and parents, as well as siblings, have heard the names from school.

Bring the people to the campus life that they have heard about.

DECEASED If a fellow student or teacher has died, mention that person. Make it not a funeral obituary eulogy but recognize them for the family who might be present.

PROJECTS Mention any projects that the school has undertaken; if you have been involved in a community garden or other volunteer organization give credit for the impact it has made.

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Commemorative Speech

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A Parent’s Guide to Giving a Speech at Your Child’s Graduation

June 14, 2023

photography of people graduating

Graduation is a significant milestone in the life of your child, and as a parent, you may have the honor of giving a speech at their graduation ceremony. This is a precious opportunity to express your pride, love, and well wishes for their future.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to give a speech at your child’s graduation that will leave a lasting impact. Additionally, we will introduce Yoodli, an AI speech and communication coach, and how it can assist you in crafting and delivering a remarkable speech that touches hearts and minds.

The Power of Giving a Speech at Your Child’s Graduation

Giving a speech at your child’s graduation ceremony is an opportunity for a heartfelt tribute that celebrates the achievements of your child and offers them both guidance and inspiration as they embark on their next chapter in life. It’s an opportunity to capture the essence of their educational journey thus far, acknowledge their growth, and provide them with valuable life lessons.

How to Use AI to Practice Giving a Speech at Your Child’s Graduation

Yoodli , an AI speech and communication coach, can be an invaluable tool in helping you deliver an exceptional graduation speech for your child. Here’s how Yoodli can assist you.

1. Refine your script.

Yoodli provides feedback on your speech script, helping you refine your content to ensure clarity, coherence, and emotional impact. It offers suggestions to enhance your storytelling, use persuasive language, and structure your speech effectively.

2. Improve the delivery of your speech.

Yoodli can also help improve your delivery by providing feedback on elements such as pacing, tone, and body language. It offers insights on how to engage the audience, maintain eye contact, and project confidence during your speech.

3. Practice your speech in a low-stress environment.

Yoodli offers virtual practice sessions where you can rehearse your speech and receive real-time feedback. This feature allows you to fine-tune your delivery and identify areas for improvement.

3 Quick Tips for Planning Your Speech at Your Child’s Graduation Ceremony

Here are a few straightforward ways you can prep for your speech at your child’s graduation ceremony.

photo of fresh graduates celebrating in gym. Graduation is an exciting milestone in your child's life, and delivering a heartfelt speech will make the special day even more memorable. Here's a comprehensive guide in case you're wondering how to give a speech at your daughter's, son's, or child's graduation.

1. Reflect on your child’s journey.

Take time to reflect on your child’s educational journey when giving a speech at their graduation ceremony, considering their challenges, successes, and personal growth. This reflection will help you craft a speech that resonates with their unique experiences.

2. Identify key messages in your speech.

Consider the key overall messages you want to convey in your speech. These can include expressing pride in their accomplishments, acknowledging their resilience, and sharing advice for the future, as well as expressing gratitude to teachers and mentors.

3. Structure your speech in a way that makes sense.

Organize your speech in a way that flows naturally and engages the audience. Consider using the following structure:

  • Introduction : Grab the audience’s attention with a compelling opening that sets the tone for your speech.
  • Personal anecdotes : Share meaningful, memorable stories and anecdotes about your child’s journey and highlight their character traits and achievements.
  • Words of wisdom : Offer advice, life lessons, and encouragement for their future endeavors.
  • Gratitude : Express your gratitude to teachers, mentors, and the educational institution for their guidance and support.
  • Closing : Finally, end your speech with a heartfelt message of love, pride, and well wishes for your child’s future.

What to Say in a Speech Celebrating Your Child’s Graduation

Crafting the content of your graduation speech requires thoughtfulness and consideration. Here are some key points to include:

1. Acknowledge their achievements.

Begin by acknowledging your child’s achievements, highlighting their academic successes, extracurricular involvement, and personal growth throughout their educational journey . This is a great start to any graduation speech for your kid.

2. Express your pride and love for them.

Share your genuine pride and love for your child. Emphasize the joy they have brought to your life and the pride you feel in their accomplishments. This personal touch won’t go unnoticed.

3. Share personal anecdotes.

Weave in personal anecdotes that exemplify your child’s character, resilience, and growth. These stories will create a connection with the audience and add depth to your speech. On the other hand, look back to when you were their age and share a relevant story from your experiences as a young adult.

4. Offer sound advice and encouragement.

Provide words of wisdom and guidance for your child’s future endeavors. Share lessons you have learned and encourage them to embrace new opportunities, pursue their passions, and navigate challenges with determination.

5. Express your gratitude for them (and others).

Express gratitude to teachers, mentors, and the educational institution for their contributions to your child’s development. Acknowledge their dedication, support, and positive impact on your child’s educational journey.

6. Look to the future.

End your speech with a heartfelt message about the bright future that awaits your child. Express your confidence in their abilities and reassure them of your unwavering support as they embark on their next chapter.

The Bottom Line on How to Give a Memorable Speech at Your Child’s Graduation

Giving a touching and memorable graduation speech for your child is an honor and an opportunity to celebrate their achievements. By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the assistance of Yoodli, your AI speech and communication coach, you can refine both your script and delivery, ensuring that your speech resonates with the audience and leaves a lasting impact.

Remember, the most powerful speeches come from the heart, so embrace the moment and let your love and pride shine through as you celebrate this significant milestone in your child’s life.

Giving a Speech at Your Child’s Graduation: 8 FAQs

1. how long should a speech at my child’s graduation be.

A graduation speech typically ranges from 5 to 10 minutes in length. It is important to keep your speech concise and engaging, capturing the audience’s attention without exceeding the allotted time. If you’re one of many parents giving a speech at this ceremony, keep it on the short side.

2. How can I manage nervousness while delivering the speech at my child’s graduation?

Nervousness is natural when giving a speech. To manage it, practice your speech multiple times, visualize a successful delivery, take deep breaths before speaking, and focus on connecting with the audience . Remember, your love and genuine emotions will shine through, helping you overcome nervousness.

3. Should I memorize my entire speech for my child’s graduation ceremony or use cue cards?

The choice between memorizing the entire speech or using cue cards depends on your comfort level and speaking style. Some prefer to memorize to maintain a natural flow, while others opt for cue cards to ensure key points are covered. Use the method that allows you to speak confidently and maintain a connection with the audience.

4. Is it necessary to include humor in the speech?

Including humor can add a light-hearted and memorable touch to your speech. However, it is essential to consider the audience and ensure the humor is appropriate and relevant to the occasion. Use humor sparingly and in a way that aligns with the overall tone and purpose of your speech.

5. Can Yoodli help with non-English speeches?

Yoodli primarily focuses on English language speech coaching. While it may provide general guidance on delivery and body language, its script refinement feature may be limited to the English language. For non-English speeches, it is recommended to consult with language-specific resources or coaches.

6. Can Yoodli help with pronunciation improvement?

Yes, Yoodli can provide feedback on pronunciation and offer suggestions for improvement. Its advanced speech recognition technology allows it to analyze your pronunciation and provide targeted guidance to enhance your overall delivery.

7. How far in advance should I start preparing my graduation speech?

It is recommended to start preparing your graduation speech several weeks in advance. This allows ample time for reflection, scriptwriting, revisions, and practice sessions. Starting early gives you the opportunity to craft a well-thought-out and impactful speech.

8. Should I rehearse my speech multiple times?

Rehearsing your speech multiple times is crucial for a confident and polished delivery. Practice allows you to refine your script, work on your timing, and become familiar with the flow of your speech. Rehearsing also helps you internalize the content, making it easier to deliver naturally on the day of the graduation ceremony.

Remember, while Yoodli can provide valuable guidance, ultimately, the success of your graduation speech relies on your personal touch, genuine emotions, and the love you have for your child. Embrace the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and leave a lasting impression with your heartfelt words.

Start practicing with Yoodli.

Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.


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Mon, 10 Jan, 2022

7 motivational speech topics for kindergarten students!

There are several special events and occasions which a kid experiences during his or her kindergarten years. These events can influence all their future decisions, therefore, it is important to motivate the kids timely and prepare them to face life challenges in the future. Such life lessons and motivation are important for both parents and the kids. Some of the motivation speech topics for kindergarten are as follows:

speech on kindergarten life

Speech on Dreams and Ambitions

Speech on Time Management

Speech on  Importance of Discipline in Life

Speech on Significance of  Hard work

Speech on Good Health

Speech on the Value of Happiness in Life

Speech on Will Power and Determination

Learn public speaking with PlanetSpark’s best courses on public speaking and become a confident communicator! Book a FREE class NOW!

Why is motivating kids important?

It is important to motivate kids in life so that they face the challenges of life fearlessly.

Why are speeches special  in Kindergarten?

Speeches make the kids more confident and comfortable for future schooling and associated events.

How should kids be prepared for speeches?

Kids should be made to understand the relevance of special occasions, their impacts on their lives and prepare accordingly.

What is the best way to prepare for kids speeches on special occasions?

The way to prepare for speeches on special occasions for kindergarten is by using simple and easily understandable language so that the child can easily connect with the speech.

People who read this blog, also read this:

5 History topics for speech for class 8 students!

Famous speech topics of History period and ages for class 9 students!

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Only a confident communicator can identify the Importance of Public Speaking as mentioned here!

Wed, 08 Apr, 2020

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Speech & Language Skills in Kindergarten: FREE Checklists

  • August 10, 2016

Do you know what speech and language skills your kindergarten students should be working on?  Odds are if you’re a seasoned SLP, then yes you probably do.  However, if you are a new SLP or perhaps have changed school settings and you’re working with different grade levels, you might need a refresher.  This information comes straight from ASHA , I’ve just put it together in a pretty little checklist to help you out.  If you’d like a copy of your own printer-friendly checklists for students K-5, click here .  So, what skills should your kindergarteners have or be acquiring?  Here’s the list of what they should be doing by the end of the school year:

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Would you like this information in a black & white checklist that you can use with your students or send home to parents?   Click here and I’ll send you a checklist straight to your inbox!

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Preschool Graduation Speech Ideas

speech on kindergarten life

It's the moment many teachers dread: Coming up with a preschool graduation speech .... (queue in horror film music here).  

Fears of being unprepared and stammering fill our heads, anxiety may set in and many think,

"I am NOT a public speaker!  I HATE public speaking!  I am a preschool teacher!  I LOVE teaching preschool!"

Take a breath.... really!  Remember your 'Why'...why you are planning preschool graduation ideas in the first place:  It is to celebrate the children and their year!  

Preschool Graduation Speech

Giving a preschool graduation speech is also an opportunity to publicly thank your families for sharing and entrusting their child(ren) with you.  

In addition, it is an opportunity to thank staff such as the director, co-teachers, support staff and volunteers.

As you are thinking of what to say, who to acknowledge and how long to take remember this one, important factor: This is not a keynote speech for college! Let's say it again:  It is a preschool graduation speech!

This is preschool!  Yes, your students may be going off to kindergarten or moving up to Prek, but, it is still preschool!   BE YOURSELF !  

That, after all, is why parents entrusted the children in your program's care to begin with!

Don't put pressure on yourself to be "formal"...instead.... put pressure on yourself to be "you"!  Or, in the words of Dr. Seuss:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

There....feel better?  This is a fun day and your preschool graduation speech ideas should keep that fact in mind! :)

Well, one more fact to keep in mind.  Because this is Preschool Graduation, that means the preschoolers are sitting there......waiting.......excited......nervous......poking their friend beside them!

And, they are.... brace yourself.... I KNOW you've worked all year on this.......but......get ready........

They are NOT LISTENING TO YOU when you give your speech!

Phew, there, I've said it!  So, this speech is not for them--even if you address the children in this preschool graduation speech (And no, I don't mean saying something like "And this year we have ALL learned to LISTEN WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS TALKING, haven't we Cheryl?")

What I mean is that while you are presenting your speech they sometimes hear.... well, here is my point when it comes to preschoolers and speeches:

You KNOW that is what they are hearing!  When you are giving your preschool graduation speech, be sure to have 1 or 2 adults sitting with the children to redirect them during this time!  That's all I'm saying!  

There are many types of preschool graduation speeches.  You might give an actual speech, read a story or show a DVD of the children!  

As I said earlier, remember to just be you!  

Here are a few ideas for speeches.  

Feel free to use these and modify as you need to for your own program!    

A "Welcoming" Preschool Graduation Speech Idea

Preschool graduation speech idea #1 traditional speech.

preschool graduation speech

written by me, Miss Cheryl, at Preschool Plan It

This is the typical speech or welcoming speech I give.  It includes a thank you and accolades to staff and introduces the stars:  The Preschoolers!

"Hi everyone!  Thank you so much for coming!  We are SO excited about today, aren't we boys and girls??!!!

Today is a very special day.  Today we celebrate YOUR children's life and times in preschool!  

It's hard for many of you to believe that the time has come for child or children.... your babies, are beginning kindergarten isn't it?

When your children first started preschool-there was much separation anxiety.  The beginning of a new school year is like that for children...and for parents!  

The beginning of the school year was a time of building trust with the children......and with you.  It was a time of building relationships together and creating a team with one shared goal:  Providing your children with what they needed to develop and grow as preschoolers.

That trust was built, relationships and teams create.  We moved through the year--as a team--growing and learning and building a foundation your children will bring with them to Kindergarten.

And now, it is very hard for US to believe your children are leaving us!  You have entrusted the most important thing in your lives to us--your child.  We can't tell you how much we appreciate that trust!  

We thank you for sharing your children with us.  We thank you for allowing us to be part of your family during this time.

And now, it is the end of the year.  It is time for your children to move on and, Guess what?  It is us.... the teachers...who have separation anxiety.  We will miss your children more than you know.  But, we smile through the goodbye tears because we are so grateful to have been part of their lives and your family during this time.

And, I want to thank the teachers today.  Thank you for your dedication to the children and their families. Thank you for your thoughtful planning and time invested in the lives of each and every one of these children! There was a poem written by Forest Witcraft that talks about teachers and it definitely applies to the teachers, support staff and volunteers here today:

One hundred years from now

It won't matter

What kind of car I drove

What kind of house I lived in

How much money I had in the bank

Nor what my cloths looked like

The world may be a little better

Because, I was important

In the life of a child.

And you were.  You were important to each and every one of these children.  Thank you.

And now, the children are very excited to get this party started, right?  Okay, let's hand over the program to the children!"

Here is when your children  might sing their songs or do their play they have been practicing!

Preschool Graduation Speech Idea #2 Laugh and Be All You Can Be

A preschool graduation speech idea page

Here is another you can use and modify to meet your program's needs.  It is from StudyMode  

"We are here today for "ABC Preschool's Graduation Ceremony. This is a momentous occasion in the lives of all the children. 

It is also a time to recognize the outstanding work of the staff here and the parents of the students.

Just looking around, the happy smiling faces says so much about the environment here at ABC Preschool. Our children have learned so much. The school places great value on community, learning and fun.

I am proud of the way the children love coming here to school and look forward to what they learn. Seeing the big smiles on their faces in the morning is fantastic. They have learned to love learning and that skill will help them so much as they progress with their education.

Life is not just about learning to read and write. They are important, but just as important is love and friendship. 

This school places great emphasis on being part of the community. This is a lifelong skill which will help all of us flourish. 

It may seem slightly old-fashioned, but a sense of community to me is very important to the future of our nation and our children.

So, thank you to the other teachers here, the love you have for the children shines through in their results. Thank you to all the parents who have willingly given their time volunteering here, and who have raised such wonderful children!

Looking ahead, our children are very well-equipped to take on the next part of their educational lives. They have strong foundations and we feel very confident that we have given the children a great start in life. They have learned many priceless lessons. 

So, children: Take on challenges, be loving, love learning, be part of the community, laugh and be all you can be. 

Thank you."

Preschool Graduation Speech Idea #3: We Give You Child Back Now

This preschool graduation speech is called We Give Your Child Back Now (author unknown)

Dear Parents,

We give you back your child, the same child you confidently entrusted to our care last fall. We give him back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature then he was then.

Although she would have attained her growth despite us, it has been our pleasure and privilege to watch her personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.

I give him back reluctantly, for having spent nine months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom, we have grown close, have become a part of each other, and we shall always retain a little of each other.

We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give him back we must. Take care of him, for he is precious.

Remember that we shall always be interested in your child and his destiny, wherever he goes, whatever he does, whoever he becomes. His joys and sorrows we will always be happy to share.

Preschool Graduation Speech Idea #4: Read a Story INSTEAD of A Preschool Graduation Speech!

Yes!  Have the children gather on the floor in front of you, like a final Circle Time or Story Time!  Wear a microphone so the families can hear it as well.

speech on kindergarten life

A perennial favorite, Dr. Seuss’s wonderfully wise graduation speech is the perfect send-off for children starting out in the world, be they nursery school, high school, or college grads!

From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within.

In a starred review, Booklist notes: “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’”

Preschool Graduation Speech Idea #5: Growing Up

For a few weeks before graduation, talk with your preschoolers about one of their favorite things or memories about preschool!  Write them down.


  • Cheryl remembers the day we brought snow inside to play with.
  • Joey remembers being Superman with John and how they saved the dolls from the bad guy.
  • Give each youngster an opportunity to share one fond memory of this school year and one hope for the coming year. Be sure to write down one of your own as well!

Preschool Graduation Speech #6: Moving On

Here's another story instead of a speech idea!  Again, w ear a microphone so the families can hear it as well.

speech on kindergarten life

In this adorable story, the young crab is growing up.  It outgrows its home (shell) and moves into another one.  After reading the story, tell the children and families, the children have much in common with the crab:

They are also growing up!  They are moving on.... into a new phase of school--kindergarten (or Prek), though we will remember the fun we had in preschool!

At this point, use the information you gathered over the past few weeks about each child's favorite memory of preschool!  Have each child stand up and share their favorite memory or you can share it for them!

Preschool Graduation Speech Idea #7: Our Year in Review: A DVD Viewing

In lieu of a long preschool graduation speech, show a DVD montauge of the children's year.

This was a hit every single year!  It was started by my mentor, Miss Peggy and I continued the tradition!

Give a short speech, thanking the parents and staff and then show the DVD in lieu of your speech!

Say something like:

"Welcome to your children's preschool graduation ceremony!  We thank you so much for sharing your children with us and entrusting them to us.  They have learned and grown so much during this time!

The children have a few surprises for you!  They want to ___________ (sing a few songs, fingerplays, act out a play---fill in the blank for your program details).  But first, we have a surprise for you!

Rather than tell you what your children have done all year, we want to show you and reminisce with you! Enjoy!"

Invite the children to come sit down near the front so they can see also!

Play the DVD!

Creating the DVD in lieu of a preschool graduation speech for the above idea:

This takes some time but is WORTH it!  If you begin saving digital pictures of the children at the beginning of the year, the process is quicker!  If you are putting it together later in the year, it will just take more time to go through your photos!

Here are the steps.  (numbered)

1. Choose 1 photo of each child where JUST THAT CHILD is in the photo.  Use your software (I use Microsoft Paint or PowerPoint) to place their first name on the photo.

2. Choose 4-5 more pictures of EACH child.  Have 3-4 of these photos showing the child participating in a small or large group activity.  Have 1-2 more individual photos of that child (perhaps of them reading a book, painting, playing outside, etc.).

3. Upload the photos into a DVD maker program.  There is probably one on your computer that you didn't even know about! ;)  I use Windows Live Movie Maker.

4. Be sure the individual children's photos are the first ones in the program!

5. Create an introduction frame in the program such as "ABC Preschool Class of 20XX".

6. Choose 2 songs to play as background and upload them.

We have used 1 song that is sure to make the parents weep.... yes, that IS our goal! And one song that was a favorite in the classroom this year.

speech on kindergarten life

Children and adults alike laugh and giggle and LOVE this DVD.

If you are able, make copies for each family as a gift!  

I recently had two different parents message me on the Preschool Plan It Facebook page  (be sure to head over and like that page, by the way!), to tell me they just watched their preschool DVD and were thinking of us (and these children graduated preschool 5 years ago)!

Preschool Graduation Speech Idea #8: Speeches from the Preschoolers!

Preschool Graduation Speeches by...... The Preschoolers?  Why not?!

I have heard of some programs scheduling time for speeches from their preschoolers.  This can be difficult it is a huge, public "TELL" portion of a Show and Tell.  It can be nerve-wracking for them.  But, it can also be fun if brief and a fun question!

You just never know what they will say!  Once idea would be to ask the children what they want to be when they grow up!  Don't wait until graduation day to spring this question on them!  Give them time to think about it.  Ask it a few times in the weeks before graduation.

Here is an example of one that was found on YouTube (not my program) that I think is so adorable!

Ending Your Preschool Graduation Speech

At the end of the program you might give another, VERY BRIEF, closing speech.  Keep it more like an announcement at this point!  The children are excited and want to be with their families now!

"This concludes our Preschool Graduation Ceremony!  Please, please join us for refreshments and hugs in the _________ (list the place).  Thank you again for sharing your children with us!

I hope you enjoyed these preschool graduation speech ideas and they have helped you get started on your decision for preschool graduation day!  Do you have one or more speech or speech related idea you'd like to share?

More Preschool Graduation Ideas

Here are several more of my pages and articles to help you plan your Preschool Graduation that you might find helpful!

speech on kindergarten life

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Speech and Language Developmental Milestones

On this page:

How do speech and language develop?

What are the milestones for speech and language development, what is the difference between a speech disorder and a language disorder, what should i do if my child’s speech or language appears to be delayed, what research is being conducted on developmental speech and language problems.

  • Your baby's hearing and communicative development checklist

Where can I find additional information about speech and language developmental milestones?

The first 3 years of life, when the brain is developing and maturing, is the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills. These skills develop best in a world that is rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to the speech and language of others.

There appear to be critical periods for speech and language development in infants and young children when the brain is best able to absorb language. If these critical periods are allowed to pass without exposure to language, it will be more difficult to learn.

The first signs of communication occur when an infant learns that a cry will bring food, comfort, and companionship. Newborns also begin to recognize important sounds in their environment, such as the voice of their mother or primary caretaker. As they grow, babies begin to sort out the speech sounds that compose the words of their language. By 6 months of age, most babies recognize the basic sounds of their native language.

Children vary in their development of speech and language skills. However, they follow a natural progression or timetable for mastering the skills of language. A checklist of milestones for the normal development of speech and language skills in children from birth to 5 years of age is included below. These milestones help doctors and other health professionals determine if a child is on track or if he or she may need extra help. Sometimes a delay may be caused by hearing loss, while other times it may be due to a speech or language disorder.

Children who have trouble understanding what others say (receptive language) or difficulty sharing their thoughts (expressive language) may have a language disorder. Developmental language disorder  (DLD) is a language disorder that delays the mastery of language skills. Some children with DLD may not begin to talk until their third or fourth year.

Children who have trouble producing speech sounds correctly or who hesitate or stutter when talking may have a speech disorder. Apraxia of speech is a speech disorder that makes it difficult to put sounds and syllables together in the correct order to form words.

Talk to your child’s doctor if you have any concerns. Your doctor may refer you to a speech-language pathologist, who is a health professional trained to evaluate and treat people with speech or language disorders. The speech-language pathologist will talk to you about your child’s communication and general development. He or she will also use special spoken tests to evaluate your child. A hearing test is often included in the evaluation because a hearing problem can affect speech and language development. Depending on the result of the evaluation, the speech-language pathologist may suggest activities you can do at home to stimulate your child’s development. They might also recommend group or individual therapy or suggest further evaluation by an audiologist (a health care professional trained to identify and measure hearing loss), or a developmental psychologist (a health care professional with special expertise in the psychological development of infants and children).

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) sponsors a broad range of research to better understand the development of speech and language disorders, improve diagnostic capabilities, and fine-tune more effective treatments. An ongoing area of study is the search for better ways to diagnose and differentiate among the various types of speech delay. A large study following approximately 4,000 children is gathering data as the children grow to establish reliable signs and symptoms for specific speech disorders, which can then be used to develop accurate diagnostic tests. Additional genetic studies are looking for matches between different genetic variations and specific speech deficits.

Researchers sponsored by the NIDCD have discovered one genetic variant, in particular, that is linked to developmental language disorder (DLD), a disorder that delays children’s use of words and slows their mastery of language skills throughout their school years. The finding is the first to tie the presence of a distinct genetic mutation to any kind of inherited language impairment. Further research is exploring the role this genetic variant may also play in dyslexia, autism, and speech-sound disorders.

A long-term study looking at how deafness impacts the brain is exploring how the brain “rewires” itself to accommodate deafness. So far, the research has shown that adults who are deaf react faster and more accurately than hearing adults when they observe objects in motion. This ongoing research continues to explore the concept of “brain plasticity”—the ways in which the brain is influenced by health conditions or life experiences—and how it can be used to develop learning strategies that encourage healthy language and speech development in early childhood.

A recent workshop convened by the NIDCD drew together a group of experts to explore issues related to a subgroup of children with autism spectrum disorders who do not have functional verbal language by the age of 5. Because these children are so different from one another, with no set of defining characteristics or patterns of cognitive strengths or weaknesses, development of standard assessment tests or effective treatments has been difficult. The workshop featured a series of presentations to familiarize participants with the challenges facing these children and helped them to identify a number of research gaps and opportunities that could be addressed in future research studies.

What are voice, speech, and language?

Voice, speech, and language are the tools we use to communicate with each other.

Voice is the sound we make as air from our lungs is pushed between vocal folds in our larynx, causing them to vibrate.

Speech is talking, which is one way to express language. It involves the precisely coordinated muscle actions of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal tract to produce the recognizable sounds that make up language.

Language is a set of shared rules that allow people to express their ideas in a meaningful way. Language may be expressed verbally or by writing, signing, or making other gestures, such as eye blinking or mouth movements.

Your baby’s hearing and communicative development checklist

Birth to 3 months, 4 to 6 months, 7 months to 1 year, 1 to 2 years, 2 to 3 years, 3 to 4 years, 4 to 5 years.

This checklist is based upon How Does Your Child Hear and Talk ?, courtesy of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association.

The NIDCD maintains a directory of organizations that provide information on the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.

Use the following keywords to help you find organizations that can answer questions and provide information on speech and language development:

  • Early identification of hearing loss in children
  • Speech-language pathologists

For more information, contact us at:

NIDCD Information Clearinghouse 1 Communication Avenue Bethesda, MD 20892-3456 Toll-free voice: (800) 241-1044 Toll-free TTY: (800) 241-1055 Email: [email protected]

NIH Publication No. 00-4781 September 2010

*Note: PDF files require a viewer such as the free Adobe Reader .

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I am a Kindergarten Teacher in Round Rock, Tx. I am in the midst of teaching my 9th year of Kinder after 8 years of Pre-K. I have worked in several NAEYC accredited Child Care Centers and my current school is accredited by ACSI and Advanced Ed.

I like to have fun! I love to create lessons that engage and present concepts in ways that everyone can understand. I have a passion for children with learning and behavioral issues. I create a multisensory learning environment for my students that is structured, loving and safe.

Accreditation team member for ACSI.

I hold a Bachelors in Education through Liberty University.

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Kindergarten Graduation Speech For a Teacher

One of the special moments for parents is the preschool graduation ceremony of their children when they complete the very first step of the academic platform and move forward to knock on the door of the school. On this day parents and other family members are very excited and they try to make the preschool graduation ceremony special for their kids. To celebrate this day teachers also play their role and try to organize a memorable preschool graduation ceremony for kids. In this article, I have written a Kindergarten graduation speech for a teacher to deliver in the ceremony.

Also Read: Kindergarten Moving Up Ceremony Script – Preschool Graduation

Good morning everyone to the parents, guardians, family, and friends of our moving-up students and to our students. You have made it. You have made it for another year and I would like to congratulate our students for sustaining one year in kindergarten. Can our parents give them a round of applause?

Congratulations! The performance has been well done and now what you have done for the year it’s being honored for today and what you have accomplished for the year the result is successful.

So with that, I would always believe that the children are our heritage and I like the program you have. God has a plan for each of our children and the excel begins here so with that I would like to thank you, parents, for giving us the opportunity here at Central to start what God would want your children to become.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help move your children to become who they are as God has planned. I would also like to thank you for all the hardships you have done and I know these children of ours would really do or would really achieve much more later on.

Moreover, I would like to congratulate the parents too! Children can we give our mama and papa a round of applause and say to them thank you. Children, can you say thank you to your mama and papa? Can I hear you say thank you?

I would like to also congratulate the kindergarten for all the teachers and staff. I know you have labored so much for all the hard work and now it pays. Indeed, we have plans to bring forth improvement to the kindergarten, and hopefully, we will be able to materialize it little by little as soon as possible.

We are simply waiting for the plans to be done and we are looking eagerly forward to that headway and improvements to the kindergarten. We also look forward that the next generation or your next children would also be enrolled at our kindergarten.

So with that, I would like to officially welcome you here in the moving up ceremony and I just would like to leave what proverbs have said: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” So, hopefully, what our children have learned here at the kindergarten, we hope they would be able to achieve and be found that more at the time they would be needing it then we know that they will not be departing from righteous ways that have been set for them.

Once again congratulations, good morning, and welcome to the moving-up ceremony. What do you want to read next? Please let us know the script and sample speech you need, by commenting in the comment section below.

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Kindergarten Graduation Speeches

Kindergarten Graduation Speeches are a treasure to open. It is a delight to fete these our beautiful children at this time of their lives. As parents and educators we know first-hand what an adventure this year has been. It has been a real pleasure to witness the wide eyed wonder as these young ones take in the world around them. There has been real pleasure too in sharing their journey as Moms and Dads or classroom helpers.

Our Kindergarten Graduation Speeches are all about sharing these precious moments, and expressing our hopes for the future. Using our words you will be able to connect easily with your audience, and charm them with interesting observations about the year just gone, and look forward to the year ahead.

D.L.M., from Wisconsin (USA) said, “The speech that I bought was very well received and I thought it was well written.”

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Thank you so much for the speech. I will tell my friends about speech-writers. I will order again. Very well written. Jamie
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Speech Therapy for Preschoolers: Enhancing Communication Skills Through Play

speech on kindergarten life

If your preschooler’s speech and language skills are delayed, you might be wondering…what are the most effective ways to help them improve?

The answer? Play!

Engaging, interactive speech therapy games and activities can improve a child’s communication skills. Not only are motivating activities fun for preschoolers, but studies have proven that play lays a foundation for learning.

During speech therapy for preschoolers, therapists use specialized strategies while playing certain activities. These activities help maintain a child’s attention, encourage them to be more receptive to learning new skills, and motivate them to practice these skills repeatedly.

Techniques and Activities Used in Speech Therapy for Preschoolers

The specific techniques used in Speech Therapy for preschoolers depend on what skill the child needs to improve on. These are some areas commonly targeted in therapy and strategies that are used to improve them:

Increasing Vocabulary

A child’s vocabulary is an important part of their language development. Vocabulary size predicts later school achievement and reading abilities.

  • Give choices instead of asking yes or no questions. For example, asking “ do you want milk or juice? ” or “ should we color with green or blue? ” will encourage your child to say a variety of words like “ milk ” and “ blue ” instead of just “ yes ” or “ no ”.
  • Use simplified speech. Instead of saying long sentences while interacting with your child, shorten what you say. That way, he or she can more easily imitate the words or phrases. For example, instead of saying “ Wow look at how high the tower of blocks is now !”, simply say “ This is a big tower !”
  • Fill in the blank . Sing familiar songs or say familiar phrases. Pause at different parts and look expectantly at your child so he or she will fill in the blank. For example: While playing with toy cars, say “ ready, set… ” and wait for your child to say “ go !”. Or, sing “ The wheels on the bus go… ” and pause, waiting for your child to fill in the blank with “ round and round. ”
  • Name & describe things around you while taking a walk, driving, or reading a book.
  • Follow your child’s lead . Comment on what he/she seems interested in.

Building Sentences

  • Expand on child’s word. Add 1-3 more words onto what he or she says. For example, if your child says “ car !” you would say something back like “ fast red car !” or “ I see the car !”.
  • Modeling. Say simple phrases out loud during play, like “ more bubbles ”, repeatedly. This provides your child with an example of phrases or sentences they can use.
  • Self talk. Narrate out loud what is happening around you, using sentences. For example, “ I’m eating cereal for breakfast ” or “ It’s sunny outside! ”.

Spatial Concepts

  • Teach before testing . Show your child what words like next to, behind, and under mean.
  • Fade cues. Start by pointing to help your child, then wait before doing this.

Following Directions & Sequencing

  • Use gestures . Point to or show what you are asking the child to do.
  • Repeat directions. If your child seems confused, encourage him or her to ask, “ can you say that again ?”
  • Teach key words (first, next, last). Talk about what each of these words mean. For example, tell your child “first put on your socks. That means it’s what you do in the beginning. Then put on your shoes. That means shoes come next.”
  • Show stories through pictures. Ask your child to retell you a story after reading it together. Ask your child “what happened first?”. Then help him or her look back at pictures to remind themselves.

Answering Questions

  • Use visual cues. Print pictures online showing what different WH questions ask. For example, showing “where” questions with a picture of different places. If you ask your child “where did we go this morning?” and he or she doesn’t understand how to answer, show your child the picture cue and remind them that “where” means “a place”.
  • Work through a hierarchy. Answering “ what ” questions is easier than answering “ why ” questions. Start with concrete questions about things that are in front of your child, then begin asking more abstract questions. For example, “Where are we now?” before “Where are we going next week?”

Asking Questions

  • Parallel talk. Ask questions out loud that match what your child might be thinking. For example, if you see your child watching a squirrel digging in the grass, ask out loud “what is he looking for?”. This provides your child with an example of how to ask a question.

Articulation and Phonological Awareness

  • Encourage your child to look in a mirror while practicing a certain sound. This provides visual feedback – the child can better visualize how he or she is moving the muscles in their mouth to say a sound.
  • Verbal cues. Tell your child how you make a sound. For example: “To make the S sound, put your front teeth almost together and then blow air through the middle of your mouth.”
  • Touch cues. On your child’s mouth or your own mouth, touch where a sound is made, such as lips, throat, or tongue. If you are showing your child how to make the “K” sound, tap lightly on your throat to show that is where the sound comes from.

What’s great is that parents can use any of these strategies at home during daily routines and play with their preschooler to encourage his or her speech and language skills.

Speech Therapy Games and Activities for Preschoolers to Practice during Daily Routines

Try incorporating these strategies into daily routines with your preschooler in ways like these:

Give your child choices in what toy to play with in the bath. Use descriptive words during self-talk, like wet, dry, dirty, and clean. Pretend to forget the steps involved and ask your child to help you. “First, plug the drain. Then turn on the water. Add the soap. Get in and wash. Get out and dry off”. This can help grow your child’s vocabulary. It’s also a great way to develop his or her ability to sequence and follow multistep directions.

Parallel talk: model how to ask questions out loud: “ What should we eat for a snack today? ”. Ask questions to your child to answer, like “Where do we put the peanut butter?” and “What do we use to spread it on the bread?” . This can help boost your child’s expressive and receptive language skills by developing their ability to ask and answer questions.

Getting dressed

Give choices in clothing, then model sentences your child can use to ask for them (like, “I want the pink dress” ). Ask where different clothing items go. By doing this, you can increase your child’s vocabulary, encourage him or her to communicate using full sentences, and help with their ability to answer “ WH ” questions.

Fun and Engaging Speech Therapy Games for Preschoolers

Parents can also improve their preschooler’s speech and language skills by using specialized techniques while playing fun, engaging language-building games with them.

Board Games

Preschoolers are just now old enough to play some really fun, engaging board games! Have some ready at home that your child can pick from, like Chutes and Ladders, CandyLand, and others . Board games can improve your child’s speech and language skills by keeping them engaged and motivated while you use specialized techniques to work on growing those skills. For example:

  • Build sentences . Explain that when you each take a turn, you are going to make a sentence to talk about what you get. For example, in CandyLand, you’d say “I got 2 red squares.”
  • Spatial concepts . Focus on using words like in, under, next to, etc as you play. Point to show what these words mean as you say them. (Example: put your card next to the other pile).

Read Stories

Pause at different parts of a book and ask your preschooler WH questions, such as “Where is the dog?”. Describe emotions and ask your child how he or she thinks different characters feel. Ask your preschooler to retell you or another family member the story after finishing it.

To work on articulation, choose a story that has several words with a sound your child struggles to pronounce. Use touch cues and visual cues (like a mirror) as you encourage your child to practice repeating some of the words.

Start with 2-step directions, like Simon says, touch your head and then jump. Give visual cues like pointing to help. Build up to more complex directions containing other concepts, like Simon says go to your room, get your shoes, and put them next to the stairs. This is a fun way to improve your child’s comprehension. These skills can carry over to help him or her participate within a classroom at school. For example, there they might be asked “take out your pencil and write your name on the paper.”


Creative Speech Therapy Activities for Preschoolers

Parents can use creative activities at home to help boost their preschooler’s speech and language skills. Most often, when a child’s senses are engaged and they are doing something fun with a caregiver, they are more attentive and receptive to learning new skills. That’s why it’s best for parents to incorporate speech and language strategies into these activities.

DIY Sensory Bin

Fill an empty container with dried beans or rice. Add different toys and household items. Take turns feeling around and describing what you feel, without looking. Then use sentences to guess what the object is (for example, “I found a squishy ball!” ). Ask your child to name what you do with the object. This can help grow your child’s vocabulary and encourage him or her to form whole sentences when speaking.

Sing Songs & Pause

Sing some of your child’s favorite songs, bringing out stuffed animals, puppets, and musical instruments to join in the fun. Ask your child to follow directions with spatial concepts to set it all up ( put the bear on top of the drums) . To encourage him or her to form sentences, pause during parts of the song and ask your child to fill in the blank by singing the rest. Through this, you can develop your child’s comprehension and their ability to combine words.

Cook in the Kitchen

Motivate your child while fueling their growing independence by involving them as you make something simple like cookies or cupcakes. Use simple speech to name the ingredients. Ask your preschooler to help separate them into categories (whisks and spoons with utensils, milk and oil with the liquids.) Give your child multistep directions, such as “pour this in and then stir.” Categorizing activities like these help children understand the relationships between words and increase their vocabulary.

Signs and Symptoms of Speech and Language Issues in Preschoolers

Parents can recognize possible speech and language delays in their child by tracking how he or she is meeting developmental milestones.

Signs and symptoms of speech and language issues in preschoolers include:

Receptive Language Difficulties (Trouble Understanding)

Receptive language is the ability to understand and comprehend words that you hear. Children can have trouble with specific skills such as:

  • Difficulty answering WH or yes/no questions
  • Trouble following directions that have several steps
  • Unable to identify (point to/get) objects or pictures someone names
  • Reduced understanding of age-appropriate concepts (categories, spatial concepts)

Expressive Language Difficulties (Difficulty Communicating by Talking)

Expressive language is the how a child communicates with others. A child with expressive language difficulties might have trouble with skills such as:

  • Trouble using sentences by putting words together
  • Difficulty asking questions
  • Reduced ability to naming pictures or objects
  • Trouble retelling an event or story
  • Not using pronouns appropriately (such as he, she, her, his )

Articulation Delays (Difficulty Pronouncing Sounds)

Articulation is how we pronounce sounds and words. A child with an articulation delay might have speech that is hard to understand. Specifically, children can show signs of an articulation delay that include:

  • Decreased Intelligibility (90% of a child’s speech should be able to be understood by a stranger by age 4
  • Trouble pronouncing sounds expected for their age (by 4 years old, your child should be able to articulate the following sounds: y, v, m, n, h, w, b, p, t, d, k, g.

Social/Pragmatic Challenges

Some children have difficulty with the social use of language or trouble interacting appropriately with others. A child with social/pragmatic difficulties might show some the following signs:

  • Difficulties taking turns
  • Trouble starting conversations or keeping them going
  • Not responding appropriately to others’ nonverbal communication, like gestures and facial expressions
  • Difficulty making friends

Benefits of Speech Therapy for Preschoolers

Speech therapy can be highly effective at improving a preschooler’s speech and language skills such as:

Improved Articulation and Intelligibility

  A Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) can improve a child’s ability to correctly pronounce sounds that are expected to have developed by their age. This can increase their intelligibility, so others at school and home can better understand their speech.

Enhanced Language Skills and Increased Vocabulary

A child’s vocabulary in preschool has been found to be a strong predictor of their later academic skills (such as math) in Kindergarten. Speech therapy can help improve a preschooler’s vocabulary to an age-appropriate level.

In therapy, preschoolers can improve their ability to communicate with others by learning to speak in sentences, use appropriate grammar, and improve their understanding of what others say to them.

Stronger Social Skills

Preschoolers can develop social skills like turn-taking, having conversations, and increased confidence in communication through participating in Speech Therapy. Preschool is known as a crucial age for social skill development.

Smoother Transition into Academic Settings

In Speech Therapy, children develop social skills and language skills that can prepare them for participating in an academic setting such as a preschool classroom. While participating in therapy activities, children often learn to sit at a table, maintain attention to an activity, take turns, and listen to directions.

Using Forbrain in Preschool Speech Therapy Activities

Parents can use technology and innovative Speech Therapy tools at home to work on improving their preschooler’s speech and language skills.

Forbrain is an auditory stimulation headset that uses a dynamic filter to modulate the sound of your voice, analyze and enhance it, and immediately transmit the sounds back to you. Forbrain is designed to retrain the brain’s auditory feedback loop to encourage clearer speech, increased attention, and boost confidence when communicating.

Forbrain can be used as a tool at home to complement the techniques used during Speech Therapy sessions. For example, it can be used while a child:

  • Practices articulating sounds while looking in the mirror.
  • Reads a book with a parent and names pictures in it.
  • Plays a board game like Candyland, using a sentence to say what color he or she got (ex: “ I got red ”).

The Role of Parents in Supporting Speech Therapy for Preschoolers

“Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher.” This saying is so true, and when it comes to improving a child’s speech and language skills, parents really do have an essential role.

You can help your child achieve therapy goals faster in ways like these:

  • Actively participating during Speech Therapy sessions
  • Implementing speech and language exercises and activities into daily routines
  • Reinforcing therapy goals and strategies outside of sessions
  • Collaborating with your child’s Speech Therapist for consistent progress

According to the American Speech Language-Hearing Association ( ASHA ), increased parent engagement is linked to gains in a child’s development.

FAQs about Speech Therapy for Preschoolers

Here are some expert answers to common questions about Speech Therapy for Preschoolers:

How Long Should A Child Be In Speech Therapy?

Some children just need a few months of Speech Therapy, while other may benefit from years of therapy. When a child starts early and parents use Speech Therapy strategies at home, he or she might not need therapy as long.

When Should A Child Start Speech Therapy?

The earlier the better! A child’s brain has increased plasticity, and is very receptive to learning new skills, especially during their first 8 years.

How Effective Is Speech Therapy For Preschoolers?

It can be very effective. According to research , Speech Therapy for children with speech and language delays over a 6 month period can lead to significant improvements, and is proven to be more effective than no therapy over the same period of time.

How Can I Help My 3-Year-Old With Speech Therapy At Home?

To help your 3-year-old with speech therapy at home, boost your child’s vocabulary by offering him or her choices instead of asking yes/no questions (i.e., “do you want milk or juice” rather than, “do you want milk?” ). Encourage your child to use at least 3-word phrases by modeling them during play and daily routines. For example, take turns saying “I spy…” while on a walk. Improve your child’s comprehension by asking him or her to point to different pictures you name while reading a book.

Can A 4-Year-Old With A Speech Delay Catch Up?

For a child who is 4 years-old, Speech Therapy is still considered by some as early intervention, which is known to be effective at improving a child’s skills.

Should I Worry If My 4-Year-Old Isn’t Talking?

This would be a cause for concern, and Speech Therapy would be recommended. Speech and language milestones at 4 years old include skills such as: speaking in sentences, telling stories, participating in conversations, understanding directions with several steps, and pronouncing several sounds clearly so others who are less familiar can still understand his or her speech .

What are Some Ways to Make Speech Therapy Fun for Preschoolers?

Using specialized strategies while engaging in play with your child and some of his or her favorite toys, and while playing motivating games can keep Speech Therapy sessions and home practice fun! Use lots of positive reinforcement and praise your child for all of their hard work to encourage them to keep practicing.

What tools are available for preschool Speech Therapy?

Tools that can be used for preschoolers in Speech Therapy and complimentary at home include mirrors (to visualize how different speech sounds are made with the mouth), oral motor tools (designed to provide sensory input and/or strengthen oral muscles used for speech), and online activities through sites like TeachersPayTeachers and Boom Learning . Forbrain, an auditory stimulation headset is another tool that can be used at home to complement Speech Therapy.

Final Words

If you have concerns about your preschooler’s speech and language development, one of the best things you can do to help is talk to your child’s Pediatrician and ask for a referral for a Speech Therapy Evaluation.

Starting Speech Therapy early can have a lifelong impact on a preschooler’s life by improving their future academic and social skills. And by using effective strategies and tools during home practice with motivating preschool speech therapy activities, you can help accelerate your child’s progress even more.

Maleki M, Mardani A, Mitra Chehrzad M, Dianatinasab M, Vaismoradi M. Social Skills in Children at Home and in Preschool. Behav Sci (Basel). 2019 Jul 8;9(7):74. doi: 10.3390/bs9070074. PMID: 31288402; PMCID: PMC6681026. Read more.

Ramsook, KA, Welsh, JA, Bierman, KL. What you say, and how you say it: Preschoolers’ growth in vocabulary and communication skills differentially predict kindergarten academic achievement and self-regulation. Social Development . 2020; 26: 783– 800. Read more.

Zosh, Jennifer & Hopkins, Emily & Jensen, Hanne & Liu, Claire & Neale, Dave & Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy & Solis, Lynneth & Whitebread, David. (2017). Learning through play: a review of the evidence. 10.13140/RG.2.2.16823.01447. Read more.

speech on kindergarten life

California man who killed 6-year-old on his way to kindergarten in road-rage shooting sentenced

Road Rage Trial Verdict in California

LOS ANGELES — A Southern California man who shot at a car on a freeway during a road-rage incident and killed a 6-year-old who was on his way to kindergarten was sentenced Friday to the maximum possible sentence of 40 years to life in prison.

Marcus Anthony Eriz, 27, of Costa Mesa, was convicted by a jury in January of second-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle for the May 21, 2021, killing of Aiden Leos.

Superior Court Judge Richard King said Aiden was “a 6-year-old in the back seat, the most vulnerable victim that you can even imagine, going to kindergarten being driven by his mom.”

Road Rage Trial Verdict in California

“I don’t think the English language can even attempt, for anybody, to even describe what Aiden’s mother went through after he said ‘ouch,’” King said. “She pulls over, and her little boy dies in her arms.”

Eriz fired a shot at the car after his girlfriend, who was driving their car, cut Aiden’s mom off on State Route 55. The girlfriend gave a peace sign and Aiden’s mom flipped them off, prosecutors said.

Eriz, in the back seat, opened the window and fired a handgun at her car. The mother heard a noise and her son cry out as she was driving away, authorities said. Aiden, who was in a car seat in the back, was struck.

Eriz apologized in court Friday.  

"He was a son, a little brother and a friend to others. He looked as if he brightened up the world everywhere he went and truly one of God’s little angels," Eriz said. "And I am so sorry for ever hurting him, and for the pain that he went through because of me."

"He never deserved it. And neither did his family," Eriz said.

Eriz would have been sentenced to 15 years to life, but he was convicted of a sentencing enhancement that added an extra 25 years to life, and the judge refused to strike that enhancement.

King said he could not connect any mitigating factors, like childhood trauma or his age at the time as the defense argued, with the actions that Eriz took that day.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said that "this wasn’t a horrible mistake; this is a cold-blooded murder."

"Marcus Eriz pulled out his gun and fired it into a moving car because he wanted to world to know what he was capable of — and what he took was the life of a little six-year-old boy and the sense of security of drivers everywhere who worry that driving on our freeways could be a death sentence, not because of a crash but because of a bullet," Spitzer said in a statement after the sentencing.

Eriz's girlfriend, Wynne Lee, has been charged with one count each of accessory after the fact and having a concealed firearm in a vehicle. Her case is pending and she has pleaded not guilty.

If convicted on both counts, Lee faces up to three years in state prison and one year in the Orange County Jail, the district attorney's office said.

The shocking violence on the freeway sparked a manhunt that ended with the p a ir's a rrest on June 6, 2021, around two weeks after the shooting. A reward for information had grown to more than $300,000 in the case.

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Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

How Hidden Nazi Symbols Were the Tip of a Toxic Iceberg at Life Is Strange Developer Deck Nine

Inside the developer of life is strange's internal struggles with toxicity, hate speech, crunch, and more..

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Early last year, while working on the next entry in the Life Is Strange franchise, a few developers at Deck Nine stumbled upon something that didn’t belong in their game: Nazi symbols.

Initially, developers noticed a reference to the number 88 , and flagged the issue to their bosses assuming it was an innocent mistake. But in the ensuing weeks, others found more problematic signs and in-universe labels, such as references to a racist meme , the number 18 , and the Hagal rune . As the number of possible hate symbols mounted, staff grew increasingly concerned that someone was putting these items in their game deliberately as a dog whistle to white supremacists.

Nazi imagery would be inappropriate in most games, but in a Life Is Strange title the dissonance was especially frightening. Since its inception, the series has been lauded for thoughtful portrayals of marginalized individuals. Its most recent entry, Life Is Strange: True Colors, won Games for Impact at The Game Awards in 2021 and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Video Game. With such a reputation, developers tell me, there was an expectation that any whiff of hate speech would be immediately removed and thoroughly investigated.

But as weeks went by, management remained silent and staff unrest grew. This wasn’t the first time executives had failed to act when marginalized individuals at the studio felt unsafe. According to over a dozen current and former employees across several departments, most of whom spoke to me on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, Deck Nine’s management has long let a toxic work culture fester at the studio. They claim the C-suite has protected multiple abusive leaders, encouraged crunch, and allowed bullying of individuals advocating internally for more authentic representation in Life Is Strange.

Now on the cusp of announcing its next game and struggling to secure other projects, Deck Nine leadership is facing growing internal discontent from those harmed by its inaction. While the developers of Life Is Strange love and believe in the series, many of them increasingly struggle to reconcile the values the games promote with the culture in which they are made.

speech on kindergarten life

Deck Nine Games was founded under the name Idol Minds in 1997 and for most of its history, worked on games very different from Life Is Strange. For a long time it focused on PlayStation games such as Cool Boarders 3 and 4, Rally Cross 2, and Neopets: The Darkest Faerie. Idol Minds also assisted on multiple Ratchet & Clank games. The studio briefly pivoted to mobile game development in the early 2010s before vanishing for a few years, reemerging as Deck Nine in 2017.

This wasn’t just a name change. Equipped with proprietary toolset StoryForge, Deck Nine announced it would focus on narrative games, beginning with the Square Enix-owned Life Is Strange. Deck Nine first took the reins from series creator Dontnod Entertainment on a prequel, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. Though Dontnod followed up with Life Is Strange 2 in 2018, it officially left the series behind after that , making Deck Nine the logical successor with Life Is Strange: True Colors in 2021 and the Life Is Strange Remastered Collection in 2022.

Deck Nine’s first crack at Square Enix’s popular narrative series involved significant crunch, and while efforts were made to improve workloads on True Colors, overtime never fully vanished. One anonymous individual told me they worked 70 to 80 hours a week for an entire month straight on True Colors. Another described taking on weeks of crunch to protect other team members, saying it was “never mandated” but that there was always too much to get done in the allotted time.

Much of the crunch, developers say, was the direct result of the relationship between Deck Nine and Square Enix. Several people told me it felt as though Square Enix had sold Life Is Strange to the lowest bidder, and that this was frequently reflected in production schedules with tight deadlines and small budgets. Multiple people were aware of producers being forced by their bosses and Square Enix to rework production schedules so it looked like every milestone fit within a very limited development time frame, despite their arguments that it was impossible. One called Square Enix – and specifically, Square Enix London, who Deck Nine worked with directly - “bullies.”

Another source elaborated, “Square always put a lot of pressure on our people, so that toxicity started to bleed into our environment too.”

Others I spoke to expressed frustration at Square Enix for a different reason: it was far too hands-on with the script. Sure, Life is Strange is a Square Enix’s owned IP, but sources told me Square Enix seemed oddly reluctant or outright hostile to the diverse themes and ideas that Life Is Strange fans love. For instance, multiple people recalled an incident during True Colors development where Square Enix told multiple developers it didn’t want Life Is Strange to be thought of as the “gay game.”

“There’s a lot of press out there praising True Colors for having the first bisexual lead in a Life Is Strange game,” said Mallory Littleton, a narrative designer who worked at Deck Nine on multiple Life Is Strange titles. “Even in our press guides from Square Enix, all the way up until [review copies were out], we were not to say anything about Alex’s sexuality, period, at all. And then they did the advance copies, and all of these reviews came out saying how amazing it was to finally see an explicitly bi protagonist, and after that, Square was like, just kidding, Alex is absolutely, canonically, 100% bisexual.”

Square Enix declined to comment for this article, but instead pointed IGN to Deck Nine’s response, which we’ve included in full at the end of this article.

Fraught as the relationship with Square Enix was, some people I spoke to at Deck Nine laid the blame for the difficult relationship not at the feet of the publisher, but Deck Nine management. They said that managers at Deck Nine never seemed willing to ask Square Enix for more time or push back on notes the developers disagreed with. How, then, was Square Enix even supposed to know the studio was struggling?

Multiple sources gave the impression in our conversations that Deck Nine’s relationship with Square Enix for Life Is Strange was largely one of convenience rather than any deep appreciation for the series. Square Enix liked that Deck Nine was willing to do the game for a lower budget than other studios, and it had the StoryForge tool, which was made for narrative adventure games. Deck Nine, for its part, needed a good IP to pair with StoryForge. Telltale already had rights to many of the most appealing ones, and other large licenses weren’t willing to work with an untested studio. However, many developers told me Deck Nine management seemed unprepared for dealing with a game with “serious” themes, especially when it comes to thoughtful portrayals of diverse individuals.

Screens - Life is Strange: True Colors

speech on kindergarten life

Alongside complaints of low pay, difficulty getting promotions, and the aforementioned crunch, many people I spoke to expressed frustration that management allowed numerous instances of toxic behavior to go unaddressed for months on end. These included a number of specific accounts of sexual harassment, bullying, transphobia, and otherwise toxic work culture that multiple individuals corroborated. In just one example, multiple people remembered a senior programmer who frequently made sexist remarks and crude “jokes” with both racial and sexual overtones. One person recalled him repeatedly harassing a young, female producer, frequently speaking over her, invading her personal space, and blocking her from grabbing items. He also frequently screamed and swore at other junior programmers sitting near him. One anonymous source with insight into leadership decisions recalled management fighting to keep the programmer despite numerous reports, opting to move his team to desks far away from other departments so others couldn’t hear him yelling. He was eventually let go, not long after an incident where sources recalled overhearing him screaming at an HR representative.

Every woman I spoke to for this piece had at least one story of being treated poorly or harassed during her time there, and almost all said they felt they had to fight exceptionally hard to receive raises or promotions. “We’re usually treated as a marketing or PR asset, that’s how higher ups often talked about us,” said Madeleine Tate, a former producer at Deck Nine on Life Is Strange. “Every promotion where a woman got promoted took a team effort, everyone suggesting them, sending emails, both men and women, dozens just trying to get them promoted.”

speech on kindergarten life

While Deck Nine’s myriad issues impacted a number of departments and teams at the studio, the narrative team was particularly impacted. Consistently one of the most diverse teams in the studio, those I spoke to within and outside of the narrative team recalled the group dealing with sexism, harassment, bullying, transphobia, microaggressions, alienation, and other toxic behavior from those outside the department. But while these broader issues pervaded the day-to-day of the team’s work, sources say narrative faced internal conflict as well largely centered on its leader: narrative director and eventual Deck Nine CCO Zak Garriss.

Garriss joined Deck Nine in 2016 as the narrative director for Before the Storm. He is said to have quickly endeared himself to Deck Nine’s executives with his charisma, pitching abilities, and rare willingness to successfully disagree with Square Enix. But elsewhere in the studio, Garriss cultivated a different reputation. As Deck Nine began work on True Colors, sources say Garriss began forming close relationships with a number of younger women, often in situations where he had some sort of mentorship or other power over them, including at least one of the women on his team. Multiple women described him as “love bombing” them when they first met, showering them with compliments and convincing them he could get them promotions or raises. Sources say he frequently stayed late at the studio talking to these women – inviting them to lunch, dinner, drinks, movies, or even to his house after work. While in all these situations, sources say he would instigate personal conversations, and would even text some of them after work hours about personal topics.

“He would walk me to my car, I’d open the door, say goodbye, and he’d sort of linger,” Littleton recalled. “We’d keep talking, I’d sit down, and he’d linger again next to the open door. He never made a particularly overt move, it was always subtle enough. It felt like it was maybe always just a vibe that I was getting. I felt stupid, first of all, for ending up in that situation with him in the first place. But because he never clearly made a move, maybe I was just reading too much into the whole thing. It wasn’t until I explained it in great detail to others that someone clued me in.”

Multiple women who experienced this behavior from Garriss described a pervasive feeling of being unable to tell him “no” when he crossed personal boundaries due to his status at the studio. This feeling only increased over time and bled into the workplace, with several of those I spoke to reporting numerous incidents of him lashing out against those who disagreed with him at work. This was especially true of those fighting for more thoughtful, authentic, or sensitive portrayals of diverse characters. Tate, for instance, recalled being formally reprimanded for criticizing Garriss’ seeming reluctance to allow women in his scripts to express anger. Littleton recounted Garriss telling her that he didn’t think representation mattered because “he didn’t necessarily identify with every white man protagonist, and so other people shouldn’t identify with characters because they look the same.”

“At a certain point our job became finding a way to couch feedback in a way that Zak would hear, more than it was coming up with the feedback,” Littleton added.

Others recalled being reprimanded by Garriss for asking questions about the removal of a transgender character from True Colors that took place fairly deep in development. Two anonymous individuals told me that when the Deck Nine social team wanted to post something in support of Black Lives Matter, Garriss pushed back, calling BLM a hate group. In another example, multiple people told me that Garriss fought hard for a twist on True Colors’ final choice that a number of writers pointed out included a problematic portrayal of migrant workers and needed to be changed (it eventually was). And several sources recalled a meeting in which Garriss told those who had pushed back on this decision that they were getting too hung up on “political ideologies” and asked everyone present to go around the room and list their political affiliations.

Many people told me about a scene Garriss wrote for True Colors that the writers felt they had to fight him excessively hard to change. In the final script of True Colors, the main character Alex is taken into the woods by Jed, who she thinks is a friend. He betrays her, shooting her and missing, causing her to fall into an abandoned mine shaft. However, in Garriss’ original version, Jed spikes her drink at a bar and takes her out to the woods for an attempted murder. When they saw this version of the scene, a number of people pushed back, arguing that the scene would unintentionally trigger associations with date rape. Multiple individuals, including a number of women, recalled having to fight extensively with Garriss about this scene before it was eventually changed.

“It took a three hour meeting in the writers room and one of the writers sharing an extremely personal story to get Zak to agree to get the content out,” said Littleton. “It wasn’t about us not wanting to have difficult topics in there, but Life Is Strange shines because that type of content is chosen extremely deliberately and it’s given runway, it’s given space to breathe. This detail is irrelevant to the plot, it would have been traumatic for players, and there was no space to unpack it. We don’t have time to talk about what it means for Alex to be roofied by a man she trusted.”

She added that once Garriss finally agreed to take the detail out, he “went on a long tangent about how the writers need to be creatively brave enough to go to ugly places for the sake of our art.” Another anonymous source recalled Garriss suggesting that this pushback was only occurring because he was making a game about a woman, and that he wouldn’t have to deal with this if he was making a game about Nathan Drake.

“All the stuff people have praised in the queer community [about True Colors] was hard fought for,” Tate said. “[Garriss] had senior, queer people on his writing team that he refused to trust. The theme of the game is empathy, the power is empathy, but he didn’t really have any of his own. He would talk about how he felt so empathetic to people, but he genuinely seemed so repelled by any experience he couldn’t personally identify with…If someone talked about their lived experience as a marginalized individual, his response was always ‘Is that true?’”

Tate told me she went to HR repeatedly about Garriss’ behavior during his time there, but was simply encouraged to try and see things from his point of view. Another source, closer to leadership, was aware that Garriss had been instructed by HR to stop taking young women out to dinners; he did not. However, those I spoke to say that as True Colors wore on, Garriss distanced himself from his team of writers. He and another lead would make most of the story decisions, rewriting work from other writers without allowing them the opportunity to give feedback, even on stories centering marginalized characters.

Toward the end of True Colors, Deck Nine implemented a new, anonymous performance evaluation tool. As a result, a number of people told me they finally felt comfortable being honest with management about Garriss’ issues. But management, they say, did not take action. Some time later, Garriss quit voluntarily. But this wasn’t the end. True Colors launched to critical acclaim, and in the wake of its success, Deck Nine was preparing to expand its portfolio. But it was struggling with one story pitch in particular, and Deck Nine’s leadership pitched bringing Garriss back to fix it.

Once news got out, the narrative team erupted. Multiple people begged management not to bring back Garriss in a series of meetings, messages, and emails. One person familiar with leadership at the company recalls HR stepping in, noting that management was actively underpaying a number of workers, especially women, while considering a massive salary for Garriss. HR allegedly suggested that Deck Nine could be legally liable for Garriss’ behavior if they invited him back after the bevy of reports. When the company CEO and CFO persisted in arguing that they needed Garriss, multiple writers handed in resignations. Finally, management relented. Garriss did not return.

At least, not officially. Following his departure, Garriss landed at Telltale Games, which was working at the time on a project in close writing partnership with Deck Nine. Only a few months after his departure, several of those who had protested Garriss’ return were told that a few narrative team members had been holding story breaking sessions at Garriss’ home.

The Expanse: A Telltale Series Screenshots

speech on kindergarten life

In a statement to IGN, Telltale Games asserts it was “not aware of any concerns about Zak prior to his hire” and declines to comment on internal Deck Nine issues. It also notes that due to the move to remote and hybrid work during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become “common” for employees to meet at one another’s homes. The company adds:

“We can say that, during his time at Telltale, Zak was one of the most talented, balanced and inclusive game directors we have ever worked with, and that is evident in the games he has delivered.”

In response to a request for comment on this piece, Garriss pushed back on a number of the allegations above. Though he acknowledged having “mentored” many women, he says he also mentored many men, and never directly offered promotion but instead supported the existing promotion process. He says the team at Deck Nine was “very close” and often attended lunches, dinners, drinks, movies, and other engagements together, and that he hosted get-togethers at his home “a small number of times” “with both male and female devs” and that his 73-year-old mother who lives with him was always present. He added that he never engaged in “any aberrant or inappropriate behavior” in texting his coworkers and that “many of the devs in the studios…text often, about all manner of things.”

Garris went on to claim that the narrative team on True Colors was “initially characterized by torpor rather than toxicity” due to “a smaller portion of the group not collaborating well.” He said, “In all of my career, I have never worked with writers who were as creatively inflexible, antagonistic toward difference, or less inclined to listen or compromise as a select few of this group.” Garriss claims that the work on True Colors prior to his presence on the team was “so poor, the game was under real threat of cancellation when I returned,” and that at a certain point he chose to reduce the “influence” of certain members. He claims that as a result, “Their conduct became unprofessional, more antagonistic, and accusatory toward me of the toxicity that, from the perspective of many people in the studio, was in actuality a result of their behavior.”

Garriss additionally said he does not recall referring to Black Lives Matter as a “hate group,” and says he “made every effort to handle the discussions” around the exclusion of a trans character from True Colors “with kindness and care.” He denies that the rejected story angle in True Colors’ ending regarding migrant workers was a harmful one, and says the team was “divided” on the issue of Alex being drugged by Jed and that he opted to change the point “because of the passion and the earnestness of their case.”

Finally, Garriss alleges that the number of complaints against him in 360 evaluations was “not significant” and that “the majority of the feedback on me personally was positive.” He also reiterates Telltale’s statement that meeting at people’s homes is “quite common” on certain teams given the nature of remote work.

He concludes as follows:

“If you are looking for clarity around the views of Deck Nine – the studio and its leadership, myself included – look to the content the team created as a reflection of the intentions and beliefs of that team. No game is perfect, and no production is ever easy. Before the Storm and True Colors were very difficult. But earnest hearts working tirelessly for years prevailed in the production of those games, and I am proud of what the team produced, grateful for the chance to have been a part of it, and honored to have touched the lives we have with the content we created; please do not let the biased viewpoint of a select few blind you to the truth of the whole.”

In the wake of Garriss’ departure, many of those who had worked closely with him told me that they felt optimism about the future of their work. As Littleton put it, the team hoped they could work to build Deck Nine into a “home for people like us.”

“Queer or trans or women of color or just writers of color, folks who are not typically comfortable, able to be at home in the games industry just because of the way that it is,” she continued. “Zak left, we managed to reshape the story into something that we liked and cared about and really, genuinely believe in. I think our upcoming game is a really good game, and we built this incredible, diverse team of writers who are very, very good at their jobs, but on top of that extremely good to one another. It was such a supportive, open, honest place to work.

“And then everything hit the fan, one thing after another.”

speech on kindergarten life

Near the end of 2022, as management was fighting to bring back Garriss, someone noticed something odd in the in-development new Life Is Strange game. It was an in-game sign that incorporated the word “Sheeeit” in what seemed to be a reference a racist meme . The individual flagged the asset as problematic, and was reassured at the time that it would be changed.

But the meme soon surfaced again. A few months later, another person saw the same scene and noticed a problem with a different asset: the number 88, which is widely used as a hate symbol referencing Hitler . This person flagged the issue to their superiors, presuming it was accidental. But as word spread around the studio and more people looked at the scene, even more symbols were found. These included (among potential others) the number 18 , an apparent Hagal rune – widely used in Nazi Germany to signify devotion to Nazi philosophy – and the same apparent racist meme reference before, albeit shortened to “Sheee.” Developers flagged these to various team leads and managers, and received reassurances that it would be looked into. But weeks turned into months, and the assets remained unchanged. By the end of June, employees had been told an HR investigation was ongoing, but had received no other feedback.

Meanwhile, concerned staff were forced to contend with the notion that a coworker was using Life Is Strange to promote hate speech. Multiple people told me that while they could easily believe someone might accidentally and innocently use the number 88 or 18 without knowing what it meant, the sheer number of racist and Nazi items in that one room made it difficult to believe it was all just a big coincidence.

“I have tried to hold space for the idea that one person made a bunch of extremely unfortunate coincidences,” said Elizabeth Ballou, a former narrative designer at Deck Nine, when I approached her about the content. “It is really hard for me to believe that. Especially because we asked them to remove the sheeit meme, and they kept it on there but smaller. So either this was a case of the worst miscommunication known to mankind…or Occam’s Razor, simplest explanation is that someone was trying to see how many of these things they could get away with before someone noticed.”

One anonymous person pointed out that given the particular fanbase Life Is Strange served, having imagery like this seemed like a recipe for certain disaster.

“To put that in this game in particular feels targeted,” they said. “It feels like a way to say, ‘You don’t get to have this either.’...It’s not a little thing. If you meant it as a joke, it doesn’t matter. It reads the same.”

Finally at the end of August, after numerous reports of the hate speech, management finally addressed the assets. In a message posted in Slack, CEO Mark Lyons informed staff that it had removed the symbols and investigated how they came to be there. Lyons claimed that following the investigation, management determined that this was “not an intentional action.”

“Regardless of intent, we will not tolerate any form of hate speech in the games. It doesn’t matter if we accidentally put such symbols in the game, unaware of their meaning, if some segment of our audience perceive them to be espousing hate speech.”

In response, Lyons announced the company would be instituting an anti-hate speech policy, an internal page outlining what such symbols entail, communicating a process for investigating future instances of hate speech, and creating a mandatory annual training course to raise awareness of hate speech with the goal of preventing it from appearing in games.

The message was met with mixed responses, with some employees asking for more information, some expressing gratitude, and others appearing defensive or even mocking. One person suggested that everyone reacting to the original post with the “100” emoji (which typically signifies agreement, as in 100%) should “receive written warnings for their racism,” referencing this .

Other employees felt deeply uncomfortable with how the whole situation had played out: the length of time and the amount of complaints it took for management to take action, the lack of transparency around the investigation, and the response of some of their coworkers to management’s message. Several individuals I spoke to said they tried to communicate with leadership after the fact to gain more information, but that while management heard their concerns, Lyons in particular just seemed…confused.

“Our CEO seemed taken aback in that he had never considered this, that people might feel unsafe, that someone would intentionally put this stuff in a game,” one person said. “I don’t know what year you’re living in, but people do this kind of stuff all the time.”

Another individual suggested that leadership seemed sheltered and unprepared for the difficult conversations that a series like Life Is Strange prompted. “You’re not going to learn this stuff overnight, but at least show more aptitude toward having these conversations and giving space to people to let them tell you,” they said. “They’re more reactive than proactive. They’re not going to be proactive in looking for these things until we hold their hand to the fire.”

Weeks later, Lyons announced that Deck Nine would be investigating the incident further, saying that Deck Nine was not equipped to do so on its own. Deck Nine claims to have hired Denver-based firm Investigations Law Group to look into the situation -- as of the publication of this piece, no further information has been given to employees about the investigation, what it entailed, or its results. Additionally, current employees say none of Lyons’ promises of anti-hate speech policies, training, or processes have yet been implemented.

speech on kindergarten life

While all this was taking place, Deck Nine was being rocked in other ways. In spring 2023, the studio underwent two rounds of job cuts. The first was smaller, impacting a single-digit number of individuals. And in May, Skybound Entertainment canceled a deal with the studio to work on a sequel to Telltale’s The Walking Dead (Skybound declined to comment for this piece). Roughly 30 people across all Deck Nine projects lost their jobs, reducing the studio to around 100 people. Team leads were told to choose who to cut, a move that resulted in Littleton and a fellow narrative lead volunteering to lay themselves off to save two of their coworkers (a third member of narrative was also laid off involuntarily).

With her remaining weeks at the company, Littleton recalls having to “haul ass” and to “write more and write faster than we had the entire project” to ensure the remainder of the Life Is Strange team was set up for success moving forward. “It’s difficult to describe the mental and emotional toll it took to crunch when you know you’ve already been laid off.”

Then, not long after, there was another blow, this time at Telltale Games. Deck Nine had been working on a pre-production script for The Wolf Among Us 2. But Telltale was having its own money issues, and eventually pulled the funding from Deck Nine. Telltale itself underwent its own layoffs , and Deck Nine found itself down two major projects and a lot of necessary funding. In a statement to IGN, Telltale Games says that The Wolf Among Us 2 “remains in production internally at Telltale. We value our relationship with Deck Nine and continue to explore ways we can work together."

The cancellation of two major projects and multiple rounds of layoffs have not inspired confidence internally. Among those I spoke to, there was a strong perception that Deck Nine leaders were bad dealmakers who were unwilling or unable to advocate for their studio to get resources even when their deals were successful. Just this past February, Deck Nine experienced yet another round of layoffs, with management citing an inability to sign a new project after the loss of both The Wolf Among Us 2 and The Walking Dead. A total of 23 individuals were impacted, leaving Deck Nine at just over half the size it was a few years ago during the height of True Colors. Leadership took pay cuts, but impacted staff only received two weeks of severance pay regardless of time served at the studio.

This leaves those remaining at Deck Nine once again reliant on Life Is Strange. For now, sources says development on the current project is progressing well despite some early struggles. For better or worse, Deck Nine has become the steward of Life Is Strange, and their fates are inextricably linked. In order for the studio to survive, developers say studio leadership needs to rebuild trust, especially from the developers advocating for the diverse and empathetic stories that have been a beloved hallmark of Life Is Strange since its inception.

“I worry that True Colors and Before the Storm are important to the queer community, and I just worry people will think they can’t play these anymore,” Tate said. “But every good thing we got in those stories was fought for hard by female writers and queer writers, and games aren’t made by one person…If you’re marginalized you have to love games so much more to make them because you have to put up with so much more shit.”

Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].

In This Article

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

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SDSU Speech-Language Pathology graduate program soars to 12th nationally

Several SDSU programs improved in year-over-year rankings demonstrating the university's growing competitive nature.

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usSan Diego State University’s master’s degree program in speech-language pathology is No. 12 in the nation and the College of Education is No. 48, according to new rankings of graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Released Tuesday , both numbers improve upon the most recent previous rankings for those programs. The speech-language pathology program climbed up from its last highest ranking in 2020 at No. 25, and the ranking for the College of Education is one slot higher than the program’s best placement set last year.

Ignatius Nip , director of the SDSU School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences said the M.A. program stands out in several ways.

“We have emphasized training all speech-language pathologists (SLPs) on how to assess and treat speech, language, and communication disorders in people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,” Nip said.

“We also have strong relationships and collaborations with the greater San Diego community which provides our students with ample opportunities to gain clinical experience in a wide range of settings,” he added. 

The program’s partnerships include local public schools, acute care hospitals, medical outpatient facilities and private practice. 

U.S. News publishes rankings in some categories of college education annually; others are issued on an irregular basis.

The No. 48 position for the College of Education is its highest ever from U.S. News.

"The steady ascent of our college in recent years is very gratifying, but it comes as no surprise," said Y. Barry Chung , dean of the College of Education. “Our reputation for teaching, research and community impact has been well known here in the San Diego region for decades. I'm delighted the secret now seems to be out among our national peers, as well."

The part-time MBA program in the Fowler College of Business is No. 53, matching the ranking it received in 2021 and 15 steps higher than last year. 

Among other SDSU graduate school rankings of note for 2024:

The School of Public Health is No. 29 in the nation, audiology is No. 30 and physical therapy is No. 53. 

The nursing program, in the College of Health and Human Services is listed at No. 55, its highest ranking in at least five years. The social work program is No. 51.

“Over the last three years, the School of Nursing has made concerted efforts to address the national nursing shortage by expanding our pre-licensure, ADN to BSN, and graduate programs to meet the nursing workforce needs of San Diego and Imperial Counties,” said Karen Macauley , professor and director of the school.  

The school “has been fortunate to secure significant state and federal funding to conduct nursing research and develop pipelines into our Bachelor's and Graduate Nursing programs,” she said. 

Macauley added: “We have committed to inspire compassionate, ethical and visionary nurse leaders and achieve excellence and innovation in nursing education, practice, and research while advancing the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.”

Jeff Ristine, Peggy Pico and Michael Klitzing contributed to this article. This article will be updated to include rankings for the SDSU/University of California San Diego joint doctoral program in clinical psychology upon publication by U.S. News, which were delayed.

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McConnell, back in Kentucky, talks about life in the Senate after leaving longtime leadership post

FILE - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gives remarks during a presentation at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, April 2, 2024. With his days as Republican leader now numbered, the Kentuckian is talking more freely about his priorities once he's no longer calling the shots for his party. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

FILE - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gives remarks during a presentation at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, April 2, 2024. With his days as Republican leader now numbered, the Kentuckian is talking more freely about his priorities once he’s no longer calling the shots for his party. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

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SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (AP) — For nearly two decades, Mitch McConnell’s only job uncertainty hinged on whether he’d serve as Senate majority or minority leader after the next election. With his days as Republican leader now numbered , the Kentuckian is talking more freely about his priorities once he’s no longer calling the shots for his party.

During events last week back in the Bluegrass State, McConnell offered fresh details about his decision to step down in November from his role as the longest-serving Senate leader in history, which set off a wave of speculation about the future of his seat. The 82-year-old McConnell still hasn’t said for sure whether he might seek another term, leaving others to fill in the gaps, but in a radio interview and a speech, he did grow more expansive about what he hopes to accomplish in the more than two and a half years remaining of his current term.

After months when his public visits back home seemed to taper off amid concerns about his health — though McConnell has meetings and events in Kentucky that aren’t publicized to the media — the senator kept the focus on policies he hopes to help move forward in Congress.

FILE - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, stands with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, right, during a ceremony in the Rotunda at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 2, 2024. Republican lawmakers Friday, April 12, 2024, removed any role for Kentucky's Democratic governor in filling a U.S. Senate seat if a vacancy occurred in the home state of Senate Republican leader McConnell. The GOP supermajority legislature easily overrode Beshear's veto of the measure. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

“I felt it’s time to shift to a new mission,” he said during a speech in Shelbyville. “And I’m certainly not leaving the Senate and still have a lot of interest in the issues that are before us.”

Topping his to-do list: fighting back against what he sees as his party’s increasing shift toward an isolationist foreign policy, McConnell said. He’s been on the same mission as GOP Senate leader but it’s a politically difficult stance as conservatives become increasingly opposed to spending on overseas wars amid the fiery, often isolationist populism of former President Donald Trump.

“I have a great passion for trying to help do everything I can to push back against the notion that somehow this is not in America’s interest to be the leader of the democratic world,” the senator said during his speech. “Things don’t work well if we are not in the leadership position.”

McConnell has steadfastly supported a muscular U.S. foreign policy during his Senate career. Nowhere would a hands-off approach pushed by some in his party be more risky than in Ukraine, he said. Backing off support for Ukraine in its war with Russia would embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expansionist ambitions and ultimately could trigger a wider conflict, McConnell said.

“If the Russians take Ukraine, some NATO country will be next and then we will be right in the middle of it,” McConnell said last week during an interview on WHAS-AM radio in Louisville.

McConnell parried questions about his health and political future. He said he will serve out his seventh Senate term , adding: “I don’t know how many times I can say that. But that’s exactly what I’m going to do.” He offered no hints whether he will run for reelection in 2026, but McConnell had continued raising campaign funds for himself.

Asked in Shelbyville how he’s doing, McConnell replied curtly: “I’m great. How are you?”

He had a concussion from a fall last year and two public episodes where his face briefly froze while he was speaking. Aides said McConnell’s decision to give up his leadership post was unrelated to his health.

When the topic turned to Kentucky losing clout once he’s no longer in leadership, the ever-restrained McConnell replied: “Well I think I’m still going to have a pretty big voice.” McConnell’s reputation as a prodigious campaign fundraiser for his party also will keep him influential in Republican politics.

Throughout his career, McConnell has been a prolific appropriator for the Bluegrass State, a role he’s well positioned to continue as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“I think in a state like ours, what we can get out of the federal government we need to get,” McConnell told reporters in Shelbyville.

McConnell also sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee and again will have a big hand in crafting the next federal farm bill — crucial to Kentucky’s diversified farm sector.

The speech included zingers aimed at Democratic President Joe Biden, whose policies he blamed for fueling inflation and overreaching through regulations.

As usual, the senator made no direct mention of Trump. The two have been estranged since December 2020, when McConnell refused to abide by Trump’s lie that Biden’s election as president was the product of fraud. McConnell broke the ice long enough last month to endorse Trump , the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in the November election.

McConnell talked expansively in his speech about the dangers of isolationism, suggesting that more is at stake for U.S. interests than at anytime since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“You can say ‘well, I’ll just keep my head down and maybe everything will be OK,’” the senator said. “Or you can stand up to it. It may not be fashionable now, but I’m a Ronald Reagan Republican — peace through strength.”

He punched back against resistance to sending more aid to Ukraine. It helps employ American workers to replenish U.S. military stocks, McConnell said, and halting the aid would send a dangerous signal to other U.S. adversaries.

“This war is not taking a single American life,” he said. “We’re not involved directly in the war. We’re trying to help these brave people stand up for their own independence.”

In another public appearance last week, McConnell introduced U.S. Sen. Katie Britt when the Alabama Republican spoke at the University of Louisville — McConnell’s alma mater.

McConnell has become more reflective on his long Senate career when speaking to Kentucky audiences. And he’s poked fun at his own elder stateman status.

“I often tell people my real break in politics was my internship with Henry Clay,” he said, referring to the 19th century Kentuckian.

speech on kindergarten life

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Brilliance or Madness? —

Elon musk just gave another mars speech—this time the vision seems tangible, "these are unthinkable numbers, but we’re not breaking any physics to achieve this.".

Eric Berger - Apr 8, 2024 3:04 pm UTC

SpaceX will continue to iterate on Starship.

Elon Musk has been talking publicly about his sweeping vision for Mars settlement for nearly eight years now, dating to a speech in Guadalajara, Mexico, in September 2016.

This weekend, at SpaceX's Starbase facility in South Texas, Musk once again took up the mantle of his "making life multiplanetary" cause. Addressing employees at the location of the company's Starship factory, Musk spoke about the "high urgency" needed to extend the "light of consciousness" beyond Earth. That is not because humanity's home planet is a lost cause or should not be preserved. Rather, Musk said, he does not want humanity to remain a one-planet civilization that will, inevitably, face some calamity that will end the species.

All of this is fairly familiar territory for spaceflight enthusiasts—and observers of Musk. But during the last eight years he has become an increasingly controversial and polarizing figure. Based on his behavior, many people will dismiss Musk's Mars comments as those of a megalomaniac. At least in regard to spaceflight, however, that would be wrong. Musk's multiplanetary ambitions today are more credible because SpaceX has taken steps toward doing what he said the company would do.

SpaceX has real hardware today and has completed three test flights. A fourth is possible next month.

"It’s surreal, but it’s real," Musk said this weekend, describing the audacious Mars vision.

The booster and ship

As part of his 45-minute speech, Musk spoke about the booster for Starship, the upper stage, and the company's plans to ultimately deliver millions of tons of cargo to Mars for a self-sustaining civilization.

If thousands of launches seem impossible, Musk noted that SpaceX has now completed 327 successful Falcon launches and that 80 percent of those have involved used boosters. This year, he said, SpaceX will launch about 90 percent of the mass sent into orbit from the planet. China will launch about 6 percent, he added, with the remainder of the world accounting for the other 4 percent.

The Raptor rocket engine will see performance upgrades.

"That’s very much a success-oriented schedule, but it is within the realm of possibility," Musk said. With multiple test flights occurring this year, Musk said the odds of catching the booster with the launch tower this year are 80 to 90 percent.

It will take longer to land and begin reusing Starship's upper stage, which must survive the fiery reentry through Earth's atmosphere. This vehicle broke apart and burned up during its attempt to return through the atmosphere during a flight test in March. On the next flight, Musk said, the goal for Starship's upper stage is to survive this heating and make a controlled landing in the ocean. At some point this year, he expects SpaceX to achieve this milestone and then begin landing Starships back in Texas next year.

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Canada Wants to Regulate Online Content. Critics Say It Goes Too Far.

A bill introduced by the Canadian government to safeguard against online harms has stirred opposition from free speech advocates.

Arif Virani standing at a lectern. A group of officials stand behind him.

By Vjosa Isai

Reporting from Toronto

Canada has waded into the contentious issue of regulating online content with a sweeping proposal that would force technology companies to restrict and remove harmful material, especially posts involving children, that appears on their platforms.

While the intent to better monitor online content has drawn widespread support, the bill has faced intense backlash over its attempt to regulate hate speech. Critics say the proposal crosses the line into censorship.

The bill would create a new regulatory agency with the power to issue 24-hour takedown orders to companies for content deemed to be child sexual abuse or intimate photos and videos shared without consent, often referred to as revenge porn .

The agency could also initiate investigations of tech companies and impose hefty, multimillion dollar fines. Companies would have to submit digital safety plans, including design features to shield children from potentially harmful content.

The proposal by the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is meant to address “the anarchy and lawlessness” of the internet, said Arif Virani, the justice minister and attorney general.

“Right now, you can empower your kids until you’re blue in the face about the internet,” Mr. Virani said in an interview. “If there are no rules on the internet, about how things will happen, how platforms will behave, then we’ve got a problem. We’re here to solve that problem.”

But others say parts of the bill, particularly the targeting of hate speech, are so onerous that they would muzzle free expression. The Canadian writer Margaret Atwood called the bill “Orwellian.”

Since 2014, the police in Canada have seen a fourfold increase in reports of child pornography and sexual offenses against children online, according to data published in March by the national census agency.

Canada’s move to regulate tech giants comes amid intensifying concern over the power of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, to disseminate harmful content with few checks.

The European Union, the United Kingdom and Australia have all adopted laws meant to police online content, while the United States is also wrestling with how to address the matter. U.S. lawmakers summoned tech executives in January to a congressional hearing on online child safety.

The bill in Canada is winding its way through Parliament and must be passed by the House of Commons and the Senate before it becomes law. Because Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party has an agreement with an opposition party to support government legislation, some version of the proposal is likely to pass.

The comprehensive bill calls for civil and criminal penalties on hate speech, a move that has provoked the strongest opposition.

One provision would, for the first time in Canada, establish hate as a separate crime that would encompass both written and physical acts. Currently, depending on the circumstances, hate can be added as an element to other criminal offenses but cannot be charged as a separate crime. The government argues that making it a separate crime would make it easier to track offenses.

Another measure would allow people to seek the equivalent of a protection order against someone they accuse of targeting them with hate.

The bill would also restore a regulation repealed by Parliament about a decade ago allowing Canadians to file complaints to an existing human rights commission that can ultimately lead to financial penalties of up to 50,000 Canadian dollars against people judged to have committed hate speech.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association criticized the bill, saying it would lead to “overbroad violations of expressive freedom, privacy, protest rights and liberty,” and would give a new regulatory agency the power to be “judge, jury and executioner.”

The government seems to want to “create a much more sanitized internet and that’s very harmful for free speech because it’s the controversial stuff we need to be able to talk about,’’ said Josh Dehaas, counsel at the Canadian Constitution Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes civil liberties.

Mr. Virani, the justice minister, rejected any suggestion that the government was trying to limit free speech, saying the bill seeks to protect people from hatred.

“Free speech in this country doesn’t include hate speech,” he said.

Some experts and tech companies praised the bill, saying that the stiffest penalties were reserved for the worst forms of content and would not trample on free speech.

“It’s an incredibly thoughtful piece of legislation, if you’re looking at balancing protection from harm and protection of fundamental rights,” said Emily Laidlaw, a professor who focuses on cybersecurity law at the University of Calgary.

As the bill is in the early stages of the legislative process and criticism has been robust, changes are likely to come before a final vote. Government officials said they expected that amendments would need to be negotiated.

The leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, has questioned the need for more bureaucracy, saying online crimes could be dealt with through expanded criminal enforcement.

But some supporters of the bill say it would provide a faster way to tackle crimes on the internet since tech platforms could be ordered to remove content within a day.

Beyond social media sites, the bill would also apply to pornography websites and livestreaming services like Discord. Private message platforms such as Signal would be excluded.

Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, said it supported the Canadian government’s goal to protect young people online and wanted to collaborate “with lawmakers and industry peers on our longstanding priority to keep Canadians safe.”

Tech companies have responded to internet safety laws in other countries by saying that their internal tools, like parental controls, are already effective at protecting children, though some experts argue that it is still too easy for minors to bypass safeguards and access inappropriate content.

Canada’s proposal has become a target for right-wing and conservative media outlets in the United States, who have seized on the criminal and civil penalties to accuse Mr. Trudeau of trying to suppress political speech.

Some supporters say the bill provides regular online users a way to rein in content that can sometimes have tragic consequences.

Carol Todd, who lives in British Columbia, knows from painful personal experience what it means to confront sexual images of children online.

Her daughter was 15 when she died by suicide after a Dutch man, using some two dozen fake accounts, shared sexual images of her online and demanded money. He was eventually arrested and convicted in 2022 for sexual extortion, and is imprisoned in the Netherlands.

Ms. Todd said it was hard enough finding a place on Facebook to report the images of her daughter. “It was just so much work and it defeated my kid,” she said. (The posts were eventually removed, Ms. Todd said, though Facebook never commented on the case.)

Lianna McDonald, the director of the Canadian Center for Child Protection, said the government’s proposed online regulations could prevent other tragic outcomes.

“We’ve lost too many children,” she said, “and too many families have been devastated by the violence that occurs online.”

Both Canada and the United States have a three-digit suicide and crisis hotline: 988. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 and visit 988.ca (Canada) or 988lifeline.org (United States) for a list of additional resources. This service offers bilingual crisis support in each country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Vjosa Isai is a reporter and researcher for The Times based in Toronto, where she covers news from across Canada. More about Vjosa Isai


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    A checklist of milestones for the normal development of speech and language skills in children from birth to 5 years of age is included below. These milestones help doctors and other health professionals determine if a child is on track or if he or she may need extra help. Sometimes a delay may be caused by hearing loss, while other times it ...

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