wanamaker parade

"Socially distant" parade keeps staff in touch with students at Kansas elementary

March 25, 2020
A parade of staff members' cars snaked through the attendance area of Wanamaker Elementary in Topeka to maintain connections with students and their families.

With school buildings closed for the year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff of Wanamaker Elementary in Topeka, Kan., put their heads together to find a way to give their students a lift.

WIBW-TV reports that the staff organized a parade of cars that reunited teachers and students while keeping everyone safe.

"We got into education because we love seeing kids faces," principal Marc Sonderegger says. "We miss seeing them every day."

The staff organized a route through the school's attendance area. Next, they used posters and markers and decorated their cars.

"We just drove the route honking and waving and seeing those kids smiling faces," Sonderegger says.

Teachers decorated their cars with messages to their students with phrases like "We love you" and "We miss you."

"It was just good interaction, and getting to see everybody," says Sylvia Davis, who has a child at the school. "It was such an abrupt stop, so it was nice to know that everybody's still out there and thinking of everybody."

Although physical distance is necessary, students, the parade enabled staff and families to maintain connections with one another.

"We love our kids here at Wanamaker," says Heather Ford, school secretary. "As a parent, we love our staff, so it was great just to get to see the faces, that are out there, and just feel the love tonight."


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