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‘Car parade’ connects Quilchena students, teachers

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 2:29 PDT, Fri May 8, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Today, Quilchena elementary students were able to wave to their teachers during the school’s “car parade”.

“We have a small catchment area and a really tight community here,” said principal Kirsten Wallace.

A staff member proposed the parade after seeing something similar at her son’s school. During a Zoom staff meeting, other staff members were supportive of the idea—so the school’s administrative assistant developed a route through the surrounding streets.

Kids were asked to stay on the sidewalk outside their houses, and staff arrived at the school in cars, some with their own family members. Of the 185 students, Wallace estimates that 50 live outside the catchment area—and those students were encouraged to stand along the parade route to cheer and wave from a distance.

“We’ll have a long parade of probably about 20 cars, all with signs, and then we’ll go past (houses in the neighbourhood),” Wallace explained before the event. “We’re trying to create more community connection.”

Regular instruction through Zoom has lifted kids’ spirits, says Wallace—the opportunity to see and chat with friends is a great tool.

“We can’t meet with the kids, but if they see the important people in their lives, in their circle of support, I think that will make their day,” she adds.

“It just gives them another way to see that they’re still connected to our community even though we don’t see them.”

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