EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local teachers made an effort to keep in contact with their students from a safe distance Friday afternoon.
Glendale and Woodrow Wilson Elementary schools united to put on a staff parade that saw staff members decorating their cars, driving through student’s neighborhoods, honking their horns and waving to onlookers.
Derek Schulze, principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary, said the idea came from similar events he saw on other newscasts. Schulze said the staff of both schools wanted students to know, during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, that although they’re not in classes, they’re not forgotten.
“This is just to tell them that we miss them and that we’re thinking about them and we’re anxious to see their smiling faces again,” Schulze said.
Schulze said the put the concept together Thursday night and he said he received numerous emails from those participating thanking him for organizing the parade.
“We also put it out to parents so they can be at their houses and in their driveways ready to wave and the kids are excited,” Schulze said.
Emily Winne and her family stood on their lawn waving as the parade passed by their home. Winne said her six-year-old daughter Liza attends Woodrow Wilson Elementary and she said the parade made them smile from ear to ear.
“We were so excited to see everybody and Liza misses her teacher,” Winne said.
She said her family appreciated the staff taking the time out of their day to show such a great gesture.
“It’s kind of sad for her [Liza] not being able to see everybody so it’s nice for them to do this and show they still care,” Winne said.
Schulze said he wanted students and their families to know they’re all going through this time together and he hopes to see them soon.
“The overall message is that we love you.,” Schulze said. “We hope you’re learning and keeping busy and we care about you and [we want you to] stay safe.”