WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) ─ The closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic has been a bummer for Westport teachers and their students.
So on Tuesday morning, more than 100 Westport teachers, joined by school staff members, principals and administrators, paraded through town to see their students while also practicing social distancing.
Westport Superintendent Gary Reese waved to students aboard a fire truck, while dozens of faculty and staff members followed in their cars – many of which were decked out with car paint, signs, stuffed animals and balloons.
The parade kicked off at the Alice A. Macomber School, which is the first school that the majority of Westport kids attend.
The caravan of more than 60 vehicles was met by families and students on their front lawns and in their driveways holding signs, waving and cheering.
“We miss being at work and seeing the children every day.” teacher’s assistant Stacey Farias said. “Seeing the community come together as a whole was so heartwarming and an experience I will never forget.”
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Physical education teacher Terry Pacheco-Mahjoory organized the parade and said she became inspired after seeing a similar parade by a smaller school district on social media.
“I shared the video with my colleagues and asked if they were up for a parade, and it took off from there,” she said. “It’s a stressful time right now for families everywhere. I think the parade was just a nice way to share some smiles and waves and let us all feel a little normal.”
In regards to public safety Westport Police Sgt. Christopher Dunn said in a statement, “We did not utilize any additional police resources and we assisted to facilitate smooth traffic flow while supporting our teachers in this trying time.”
“We feel as though mental health is as important as physical health and we were happy to assist with the parade,” Dunn added.
Have any photos or videos of the parade you’d like to submit? Email them to EPonte@wpri.com or Reportit@wpri.com.