I work at Millard Central Middle School and my favorite annual activity is our 6th grade team day Gear Up To Graduate. The purpose of this day is to teach students that being successful in school and graduating from high school starts now. Middle school kids have so many unique situations and obstacles to deal with. So, we planned an entire day to help them understand how important the middle school years are. We have guest speakers who are people who had struggled during their teenage years and overcame obstacles to become successful adults. The kids then write a commitment letter where they commit to themselves that they will do what they need to do to graduate from high school. We take a picture of each student in a graduation hat and then we put the letter along with the picture in an envelope and it is given back to the students at the end of 8th grade. The end to a graduation celebration would not be complete without a reception and the traditional throwing of the caps.