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home : community : community July 14, 2020

6/27/2020 7:34:00 PM
Belmont Church Has Pre-K Graduation
Little kids have big day
Seen here at First United Methodist in Belmont, Addie McSwain stands behind one of the church’s signs.(Photos Courtesy Bill Ward Photography)
Seen here at First United Methodist
in Belmont, Addie McSwain stands
behind one of the church’s signs.


(Photos Courtesy Bill Ward Photography)
Retiring teacher Susan Clements leads the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Clements has been with the child development center since 1981.
Retiring teacher Susan Clements leads
the singing of “The Star-Spangled
Banner.” Clements has been with the
child development center since 1981.
+ view more photos

Linda Smith addresses her audience.
Smith has been the director of the
church’s child development
center for the past 45 years.


Thomas Lark
Staff Writer



BELMONT––June is always a time for weddings, graduations and other such milestones.

People probably typically think of high school and college graduations, when they think of June. But graduation isn’t just for the big kids anymore.

And just down the road in Belmont, some little kids recently had a mighty big day. At First United Methodist in Belmont, the church’s pre-kindergarten children and their families enjoyed an outdoor graduation ceremony, according to Linda Smith. The director of the church’s child development center for the past 45 year, Smith told The Herald all about the graduation in a Thursday interview.

“This was for all of our 4-year-olds who are kindergarten-bound,” she said of the graduation ceremony. “We had signs made, with all the children’s names on them. It worked out really well!”

Smith added that the church’s afterschool and daycare programs serve about 70 children, from six-week-old infants on up to 12-year-olds.

“I enjoy doing this,” she said of her leadership role, serving the coming generations of local kids who all too quickly become tomorrow’s citizens and parents of children of their own.

Smith also extolled her assistant: outgoing teacher Susan Clements, who is retiring soon.

Susan is like my sister,” she said. “We grew up together. She started here in 1981. She is just a remarkable person. She and I have watched a lot of children grow up in our community and in our church. A lot of the children have written thank-you notes for her.”

And to this end and in recognition of Clements’s impending retirement, Smith informed that a drop-in outdoor reception would be held in the church’s breezeway, July 9, 5-7 p.m.

This will be so families and their children can come and tell her ‘thank you’ and bid her farewell,” she said.

To learn more, call Smith at (704)589-1649.


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