NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s a phrase that needs no explanation: This is not the senior year most high school students expected.
In 2020, 12 News shared several creative ways teachers and parents organized celebrations for the graduating class during a pandemic.
From drive by parades, graduations and “adopt-a-senior” programs, they were the class that had nearly all of their big moments canceled. Sadly, the same is also happening to the Class of 2021.
With the pandemic still looming, parents at North Kingstown High School decided to organize a celebration for seniors, just because.
“We wanted to try to get them together in a safe way, to show that they are still special,” organizer and parent Christine Trask said. “This year is still special, and there is a lot of people that care about them.”
The parents organized a drive-through event for seniors to safely gather together. It’s the first of its kind, though organizers hope to have many more.
On Friday night, the North Kingstown Town Beach parking lot looked more like a block party. Seniors drove from station to station where they could play games from their cars, get treats and take photos.
“The fifth stop is where they get to sign a banner and show the number of students and make them feel like part of one thing,” Trask said. “We are hoping to have the banner on display at the high school for them as well.”
There was plenty of hand sanitizer to go around and students were asked to keep their masks on as they drove from station to station.
North Kingstown High School is currently operating under a hybrid learning model, meaning certain students never cross paths. That’s part of the reason the parents wanted the entire class to come together in a safe socially distance creative way.
“This senior class has never been able to be all together, and thats what we really wanted to do, give them a moment to feel like they were part of that group,” Trask said.
Students like senior Justin McCarthy said they look forward to doing things, like go to football games again, but for now they are looking to make the most of their situation.
“We just wanted to have some fun with the class, we cant really do much of that so, this is one thing we could do,” McCarthy said.