The evening was warm and so were the hearts of students and families as they received special visitors at a safe distance. Moods were lifted with a honk and a wave.
Teachers in antique cars, signs from students and teachers and cheers were heard and seen throughout Arlington and Kennard Wednesday as Arlington Public Schools teachers toured the area to greet their students.
The idea was inspired by others.
"Jacque Morgan, Tashia Wolf, Cindy Martens, Jen Christensen, and Kristy Rollins came up with the plan after seeing other schools doing the same," APS teacher Erin Reed said. "It does the soul good to see each other in person because we are social creatures and technology just isn't enough. It also shows the kids and families how much we care about them and miss them terribly. We'd do it every day if we could."
“We are trying to get out and see the kids. We miss them and I think they miss us, so it’s time to come out and see them,” Morgan said.
Jamie Halladay and her family were outside waving to the teachers as they went by.
“It’s amazing because our kids really miss going to school,” she said. “They think it’s the end of the school year and are ready to go back.”
Her daughter appreciated the tour.
“It’s nice to see all the teachers come together to do this,” eighth-grader Grace Halladay said.
Ashley Bostwick's girls, Gwen, 11, and Hannah, 7, of Kennard, made signs for their teachers that read: "We love you Mrs. Kaup, Mrs. Reed, Miss Hornung."
"This has been a very trying time, but those teachers and school staff have been working so hard to help the students and parents make the best out of a bad situation," Bostwick said. "It's the little things like lunch deliveries, Zoom meetings with their teacher and friends and the wonderful video messages from the staff that put smiles on their faces. This parade (was) a little bit of a rainbow during this storm."
Rollins’ son drove so she could safely wave and see everyone.
“We miss our students so much,” she said. “It is good for our hearts and health to be able to see our kiddos. It’s been challenging for all of us and we want our students to know we care about them.”
They created a route to include as many students as possible.
“We had to make sure to tell our students that don’t live in Arlington or Kennard to come to one of the parade routes and find a space to be involved,” Rollins said. “We (wanted) to see everyone.”