For grade twelve students and their families, high school graduation – a milestone recognizing over a decade of school achievements – is a time of celebration filled with social events. This special grad year often culminates in a graduation ceremony, sometimes followed by a school-sponsored celebration, and then, for many, the all-important “all night grad party”.
Unfortunately, many of these all night parties have come to represent a rite of passage and include underage drinking, drugs, unsafe sex and other high risk behaviours, and in some cases, the worst possible outcome, the death of a teen.
The truth is there is an alternative that not only reduces the risk and possible harms, but provides an exciting and memorable finale that grads will not only want to attend, but will talk about for years to come. The solution is a safe, “dry” (non alcoholic) After-Grad – an all night, all inclusive, controlled celebration.
This high energy and highly entertaining event can represent a new tradition, and can send a clear message that students are cared about, valued, and that a sober celebration is encouraged and supported. A safe, dry After-Grad can represent the time of their life not the end of their lifetime!
Having nurtured and now watched my three children graduate, I have experienced firsthand the angst and joy that comes with parenting teens as they navigate those final high school years, learn to drive, and begin to take responsibility for their own decisions, including how to spend their time on Friday night!
Wanting to keep my own kids entertained and safe on grad night, I embraced the idea of an After-Grad – an all night, safe dry celebration. And, it made sense to lend my time and event planning expertise to our local high school, to help them make the shift to a dry, safe, grad celebration. And, so, this book represents a culmination of 22 years of parenting, over 20 years of event planning and 5 years of very successful After-Grads!