Teachers on Long Island jumped into their cars Thursday headed to see their students. But instead of meeting them at school - which has been closed for several weeks - the teachers drove through their students’ neighborhoods.
Tri-state governors ordered the closure of school buildings in early March as the COVID-19 outbreak took root in the region. It’s now been weeks since students and their teachers have gathered in person.
Teachers know that distance learning isn’t a direct substitute for typical classroom engagement. That’s why educators and teachers from Summit Lane Elementary School on Long Island took to the streets on Thursday.
Educator Maureen McLaughlin said they were out “trying to lift their spirits, and our own spirits as well because we really do miss seeing the children every single day.”
Heartfelt messages and well wishes were exchanged at a safe, social distance. Young students stood on sidewalks and front lawns while the cars drove by, holding up their colorful homemade signs.
Seeing each other face-to-face, even at a distance, was emotional.
“I was so sad because, you know, they miss them, we miss them. And we really want things to back to normal. It’s heartbreaking,” said Eomalissa Curo, one of the Long Island parents.
“The thought of getting to see them, I’ve very excited about it because I miss them. They’re the reason I do this,” said teacher Lynn Collins.