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Teachers and students from Southridge Elementary School had a chance to reconnect on Wednesday afternoon. Teachers drove through the neighbourhood in a "car parade" while students watched and cheered from the sidewalks or through the windows of their homes. 

Car parades connecting teachers with school communities

Teachers and students aren’t supposed to be separated this time of year. For educators and learners, April to the end of June is one of the most enjoyable stretches of the school calendar.

But, because of the COVID-19 virus and the halt of in-class instruction, each group is feeling the absence of the other. As a way to reconnect, teachers in School District No. 57 have been taking to the streets in their school neighbourhoods, holding “car parades.”

Staff members at Southridge Elementary School held the latest parade on Wednesday afternoon. They left the school parking lot at 2:30 p.m., windows down, horns honking and hands waving. Students and caregivers gathered in the schoolyard cheered and waved back. Many students made colourful signs for the occasion and held them high as their teachers passed by. The customized placards literally spelled out for the teachers how much they are missed.

Similar scenes repeated themselves on the neighbourhood streets.

Car parades have also happened at Malaspina Elementary School and Edgewood Elementary School. The parades have been gaining attention around Prince George and are creating some sunshine and community togetherness during a time of uncertainty.

“It was emotional for me to hear of the car parades that were occurring at (Malaspina and Edgewood) elementary schools this week, where teachers had the opportunity to drive through the communities of their families and interact with them in this new and unprecedented way, and to hear the teachers’ stories of the impact it had on them and the memories that they had forever created in that experience,” SD 57 Superintendent Anita Richardson said during a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night. “I look forward to seeing which other creative ways our staff come up with to connect with and meaningfully move learning forward in School District 57.”