Congressman Jamaal Bowman

With the theme of “Today's Moments are Tomorrow's Memories," Barnard Early Childhood Center Principal Shelli Owens and Assistant Principal Malikh Ifill celebrated the accomplishments of Barnard's 72 second-graders heading off to third grade in September.

Ifill welcomed families and guests and Owens thanked the children for welcoming her and Ifill – both named to their positions during the school year – into the Barnard family.

Owens then shared their feel-good word of the year, appreciation.

"Appreciation," she said, "is the enjoyment of the good qualities in things. I instantly grew an appreciation for each of you, your ability to overcome, your ability to be flexible during changes, and your ability to be resilient."

Distinguished guests also were part of the ceremony. Board of Education member Margaret Bavosa shared a song she remembered as a child. Fellow Board member Adam Cooper offered well wishes, and Congressman Jamaal Bowman (photo) encouraged the students and families to capture every moment for learning and to persevere through obstacles.

The entire Barnard Family welcomed families back for its "Drive Bye Bye!" drive-by farewell. Smiles and well wishes filled the air as children waved to their former teachers. Watch a video here: