Wanamaker Elementary holds socially-distant parade to reunite teachers and students

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - With school buildings closed for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wanamaker Elementary staff put their heads together to find a way to give their students a lift.

With a little creativity, they found a way to reunite teachers and students for a fun-filled evening while keeping everyone safe.

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

It started with a plan. First, the staff organized a route through their school's attendance area.

Next, they grabbed posters and markers and decorated their cars.

After that, it was time for a parade.

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

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

In a time where physical distance is necessary, students, staff and families showed connecting through spirit can be closer that ever — while staying socially distant.

"It was a nice reach-out to say we're thinking about everybody, we're all in this together," Davis said.

"We love our kids here at Wanamaker," Heather Ford, school secretary, said. "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."