CORALVILLE — The sign on the white truck that led the parade read, “Mrs. Burnett misses you,” and was covered in hearts.
Kindergarten teacher Danielle Burnett was inside the truck, the first in a line of about 30 honking vehicles that drove slowly through Wickham Elementary’s attendance zone Monday.
Teachers inside waved to students they haven’t seen since March 14 — one of many events teachers and school staff across the United States are organizing to see their students without disobeying social-distancing recommendations in place to avoid spread of the coronavirus.
“A lot of us teachers are really missing our students, and feeling like we wanted to connect with them,” Burnett said. “It seemed like an easy way to show our kids we care, and get to see them.”
Similar events are planned this week at Johnson STEAM Academy and Holy Family Schools in Cedar Rapids. At Johnson, staff plan to drive decorated cars through the Wellington Heights neighborhood Wednesday at 1 p.m. to see and cheer up students.
At Holy Family, staff put an Iowa twist on their event — making it a “wave” akin to the tradition of waving to patients at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital during football games.
“That’s kind of what we do in Iowa when we want to cheer on kids,” Holy Family Chief Administrator Zach Zeckser said. “We wave at them.”
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Staff are inviting families to drive their normal pickup and drop-off route through the parking lot between St. Jude’s elementary school and LaSalle Middle School at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Holy Family staff will be spaced along the route to wave at passing students. Zeckser said he expects about 40 staff members to meet at the school — maintaining six feet of distance from each other — to greet students with signs that say they miss and love them.
“Some of the kids are pretty creeped out and scared,” he said. “Some of the adults are, too. It will be a short and sweet event so we can see each other.”
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