Local schools host “We Miss You Parades”
In recent days, Dickinson’s roads have been filled with the sounds of silence. All of that changed on Sunday when chalk, confetti and honking horns brought wide-eyed and smiling students out of their homes for a brief respite from the statewide social distancing mandates.
Local educators and staff teamed up, with the help of the Dickinson Police Department, to conduct a parade through the neighborhoods where students were showered with the smiling faces of their teachers, hearty waves and cheers of, “We miss you.”
As vehicles filled with school faculty, staff and administrators lined streets in a moving procession of smiles, students held up homemade signs and colored their sidewalks with chalk drawings and messages to their beloved educators.
“We are still here for them,” Nicole Weiler, principal of Prairie Rose Elementary, said. “My staff over this last week when we first closed down the school, they were in shambles, sitting in their empty classrooms … It is hard as an educator, because we don't just think of them Monday through Friday, but in our off time as well.”
Prairie Rose Elementary and Lincoln Elementary staff members hit the road this past Sunday to visit their kids, while other schools such as South Heart Elementary held their parade at 11 a.m. Monday, March 23.
Lincoln’s parade began at 3 p.m. and stretched for blocks, while Prairie Rose’s parade featured a convoy of more than 25 vehicles — both schools showing their shared love of their students. The affair lasted more than two hours, as every house was reached including those who lived in more rural areas surrounding Dickinson.
The moment, captured in many social media videos, brought parents and teachers alike to tears.
“We felt that our students didn't have closure when they left that Friday, so we brainstormed and bounced around the idea with the staff and we were all on board to do the parade,” Tammy Peterson, principal of Lincoln Elementary, said. ”It was a beautiful day and a great way to bring our school and our teachers to the front steps of our families.''
Among the many vehicles in the parade was one vehicle from EverGreen, an assisted living facility, that joined in on the fun in an effort to raise community spirits during this historical time.
“There are a lot of questions and things that are uncertain, but there are so many things that we are certain about, and that is that we love our kids here at Lincoln, we love our families and our teachers,” Peterson said. “We are going to continue to make the effort to make this as positive as we can because we know our students need that.”
The message for the students was clear, “We miss you” and “We love you.”
“With all the uncertain and uncharted waters that we are approaching, we want (our students) to know that all their teachers, administrators and support staff are here for them and to give them a positive vibe,” Weiler said. “Even though they can't come into their school and that we are not able to see them, we can at least see them from afar.”