CORONAVIRUS

Class of 2020: This special is just for you

Celebrities will say congratulations, with message from Gov. Kim Reynolds, too

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, shown during a 2019 media day in Los Angeles, has put together a star-studded spec
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, shown during a 2019 media day in Los Angeles, has put together a star-studded special that airs Saturday evening to congratulate members of the Class of 2020, whose commencement exercises were canceled because of the coronavirus. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)
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Gov. Kim Reynolds and Anne Lebo, the director of the Iowa Department of Education, are taking part in a star-studded “Graduate Together” online special airing nationally Saturday.

Both state officials filmed a message for Iowa’s graduating high school seniors that will be featured during the event, according to a Friday news release from the Iowa Department of Education.

The “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” special airs at 7 p.m. on dozens of platforms, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.

Produced by basketball star LeBron James, the hourlong special will feature former President Barack Obama, actress Zendaya, athlete Megan Rapinoe and other celebrities.

Viewers will be directed to an online forum to view state-specific messages during the broadcast. In Iowa’s message, Reynolds encourages graduates to look to the future and support each other.

“Iowa’s high school Class of 2020 will be defined in many ways by what wasn’t — no prom, no spring sports, no musicals or concerts,” she says in the video. “But let’s also consider how the Class of 2020 will be defined — resilient, tenacious and resourceful.

“Remember you are not alone. You’re also joining 35,000 high school seniors across Iowa who worked so hard to reach this milestone.”

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Lebo, in a news release, said she hopes the national broadcast will give grads “something special to remember.”

The special is sponsored by the LeBron James Family Foundation, the XQ Institute, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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