Community raises spirits with preschool “parade”

Nancy Wujek wanted to send a strong message of love to the St. Andrew Early Childhood Center families.

It was March 25, two days prior to the statewide stay-at-home order and nine days since the preschool dismissed due to COVID-19.  

Wujek, the preschool’s director, sought to show the young students and their families that even though they must be apart, they are still one community. She had seen stories on the news about teachers who drove by their students’ houses in a car parade. But Wujek knew a parade of teachers wouldn't be feasible considering how geographically spread out their preschool families were.

She wondered if they could “flip the script” and invite the families to be the parade.

"We blasted out an invitation on all our channels, email and social media, but we only gave them about 24 hours’ notice, so we had no idea what to expect," she says.

What happened blew her away.

"About 95% of our families participated," Wujek says.

St. Andrew ECC has 120 students from 150 families. So, nearly 100 cars drove by with messages of love.

“Some waited 20 minutes just to drive by and see their teachers,” Wujek says.

Students made posters and signs and waved while their teachers, standing far apart from each other, waved and shouted greetings of love in return.

"The children's smiling faces were so precious. Most of us were teary-eyed by the end. This small token resulted in such big feelings of joy and community," Wujek says.


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