WINNIPEG -- A Manitoba high school found a unique way to recognize students who were graduating this year.

Krista Kristjanson and Tracy Hanson, who are both counsellors at R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson, Man., said they wanted to give the graduates something special considering everything that is going on.

"We put our brains together. We had some ideas from the past. We put them all together and we did this little project for 160 grads," said Kristjanson.

The pair created 'Survival Kits,' which were handed out to students on Monday as they came to the school to vote for valedictorian.

Survival Kit

Source: Krista Kristjanson

The kits include a:

Paper Clip: To help you hold things together;

Elastic Band: To remind you to be flexible…things don’t always go as planned;

Candle: No more burning it at both ends;

Pencil with eraser: To help you write down your goals and remind you that it is okay to make mistakes;

Marker: To remind you to leave a good mark wherever you go;

Sponge: To remind you to always soak up new knowledge;

Kisses: To remind you that you are loved;

Smarties: To remind you of how smart you are;

Penny: To remind you that you are valuable;

Safety Pin: For life’s little emergencies;

Bubble-gum: To remind you to stick with it and never give up;

Tootsie Roll: Because sometimes in life you just have to roll with it;

Lifesaver: To reach for help when you need it;

String: To help you tie up “loose ends”;

Lollipop: For when life “sucks”;

Soap: To wash away your troubles;

Puzzle Piece: To remind you that sometimes you have to pick up the pieces;

Mars Bar: Because you are “Out of this world”;

Ruler: To measure your success;

Pom Pom: To remind you that people are cheering you on;

Balloon: To remind you to reach for the sky;

City of Thompson Pin: To remind you of the place your high school memories were made;

Confetti: To remind you to celebrate life;

Clothes Pin: To remind you to hang in there….this too shall pass; and

Feather: To help you soar.

A poem was also included.

"Behind you, all your memories. Before you, all your dreams. Around you, all who love you. Within you, all you need," the poem said.

"We wanted to kind of give them something to lift their spirits. With everything going on and not knowing if there is going to be a graduation celebration and missing out on their Europe trip, their school trip this year. They feel like they have lost so much," said Kristjanson.

"Everyone talks about missing out on graduation, but no one I think understands the deep meaning of that. It's missing out on everything," said Hanson.

The counsellors said both students and their parents love the little gift.

Despite everything going on, the counsellors said the students were still able to pull off their community prank, which saw the students put a face mask on the town's statue.


Source: Krista Kristjanson

Hanson and Kristjanson said there is some good news for students as the principal announced that there will be some sort of grad that will be held on June 26. Details are still limited, but they said an event will be held.