B.L.U.E.- G.R.E.E.N. Academy holds drive-in graduation for fifth graders

Fifth grader Chanae Funches receives her certificate from Deena Artis-Gilmore and Daye Brake, co-founders of B.L.U.E. - G.R.E.E.N. Academy.

B.L.U.E.- G.R.E.E.N. Academy holds drive-in graduation for fifth graders
June 10
15:32 2020

B.L.U.E. – G.R.E.E.N. Academy (BGA) celebrated its first graduating class last week when they held a drive-in ceremony to recognize fifth graders who are moving on to middle school. 

With restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic making it impossible to hold a traditional graduation ceremony, school leaders across the country are finding creative ways to honor graduates. BGA co-founders Deena Artis-Gilmore and Daye Brake said they decided to hold a drive-in ceremony a few weeks before the school year was scheduled to end. They said they didn’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate the students’ success. 

“There is a traditional ceremony so we did not want to slight them on that,” said Artis-Gilmore who serves as the curriculum coordinator. “And we wanted to celebrate their achievement because this was a monumental year and they transitioned really well.”

After being approved by the State Department of Education in 2018, BGA opened its doors at the start of the 2019 school year for fifth and sixth graders. BGA will serve grades 5-8 in 2021. 

Like most schools across the country, BGA was caught off guard by the pandemic and Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to close schools across the state. Artis-Gilmore said, just like the students when they came to BGA, they had to adjust to something new. She said they had to get creative. 

To create that classroom atmosphere for students, BGA used Zoom to create “Breakout Rooms” where students could collaborate and work together just like they would in the classroom. 

“That was really, really different for them, but it wasn’t foreign because they were used to working together,” Artis-Gilmore said. “It was just on another platform.”

Daye Brake, who serves as principal, said the fifth graders made a seamless transition to virtual learning. She said they had 100% participation with virtual learning. “You don’t find that really anywhere, so we wanted to make sure that they knew that this means a lot to us and that they needed to be celebrated,” Brake said. 

“Even with the pandemic and everything going on, we thought it was important that they know how proud we are of them for their hard work.” 

During the ceremony, the sounds of honking horns replaced the traditional applause and cheers. After students received their certificates and took the ceremonial graduation photo, balloons were released into the air to signify their accomplishments. 

B.L.U.E. – G.R.E.E.N. Academy is currently enrolling scholars for the 2020-2021 school year. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors