Who had ever heard of a “Reverse Parade” before the COVID-19 pandemic?!?! As far as we know, St. Jude the Apostle School was the first to use the term to describe our way to reach our students during quarantine. “Mrs. Hoffay, we miss you?,” “Mrs. Bender, when will I get to give you a hug again?”, “Mrs. Enides, how are you doing?” That is what we were all hearing from our students and their families.
Everyone was seeing the reports and videos of the local public school districts that were holding parades so that they could tour the district in their decorated vehicles to wave and yell hello to their students. Well, when your students come from areas that are up to 20+ miles apart, it is next to impossible to host one of those heart warming parades. So, we were left with the dilemma of how we were going to reach out to our students and families and let them know we love and miss them all, and that we are all doing okay.
Why don’t we flip it around and have the children and their families come to us? That was a great idea that came from one of our Kindergarten parents and we ran with it. It was decided, the date was set and the teachers were getting ready. Signs were being made, costumes were getting planned and the excitement was growing – We were going to get to set eyes on the students that we have missed, worried about, loss sleep over wondering if they were getting through this difficult time with a smile on their precious faces. Our questions were answered on a very cold and windy Wednesday afternoon when the music began to play, the fire truck arrived and Southpaw danced down Dana Avenue. Our students were here!!!! For an entire hour, cars paraded down Dana Avenue, past teachers and staff spaced 6 feet apart, carrying our beloved students and families. The cars donned signs, balloons, streamers, and noise makers all delivering encouraging messages that they loved and missed us, just as we did them. The smiles on the faces of the administrators, clergy, teachers, and staff, as well as the children, their families and the special guests, lit up our hearts and gave us the encouragement we all needed to hang in there and persevere in this difficult time. Now we all knew how we were going to get through all this – TOGETHER – as we always do at St. Jude the Apostle School!!