Gecko strong: Wauconda Grade School's drive-by parade brings cheer, strengthens connections

  • Wauconda Grade School third-grade teacher Nikki Nelson participated in a drive-by parade Wednesday, March 25, by schoolteachers and staff.

    Wauconda Grade School third-grade teacher Nikki Nelson participated in a drive-by parade Wednesday, March 25, by schoolteachers and staff. Courtesy of Wauconda Grade School

  • A car in the Wauconda Grade School drive-by parade displays the message "Gecko Strong." The gecko is the elementary school's mascot. The parade lasted more than an hour.

    A car in the Wauconda Grade School drive-by parade displays the message "Gecko Strong." The gecko is the elementary school's mascot. The parade lasted more than an hour. Courtesy of Wauconda Grade School

  • More than 35 cars left Wauconda Grade School's parking lot and made their way through nearby neighborhoods with participants honking horns and waving. Many of the cars were decorated with a gecko, the school's mascot.

    More than 35 cars left Wauconda Grade School's parking lot and made their way through nearby neighborhoods with participants honking horns and waving. Many of the cars were decorated with a gecko, the school's mascot. Courtesy of Wauconda Grade School

 
 
Updated 3/28/2020 9:23 AM

Drive-by parades are growing in popularity as the COVID-19 stay-at-home order continues.

On Wednesday, March 25, Wauconda Grade School fifth-grade teacher Tracie Miglans coordinated a parade with other teachers and staff. Miglans said more than 35 cars left the school's parking lot, making their way through nearby neighborhoods with participants honking horns and waving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
On Wednesday, March 25, Wauconda Grade School teachers and staff held a parade with more than 35 cars participating. Cars were decorated with signs, balloons, the school's gecko mascot and streamers.
On Wednesday, March 25, Wauconda Grade School teachers and staff held a parade with more than 35 cars participating. Cars were decorated with signs, balloons, the school's gecko mascot and streamers. - Courtesy of Wauconda Grade School

Cars were decorated with signs, balloons, the school's gecko mascot and streamers. Many current students and Wauconda residents waved back. Miglans said the parade lasted more than an hour and proved that teachers can stay connected with students while keeping with the social distancing guidelines.

Principal Debra Monroe says remote learning activities will continue as well, and are designed to move the curriculum forward.

Autumn and Tate Davison hold up their own sign to thank the Wauconda Grade School teachers and staff for the drive-by neighborhood parade Wednesday, March 25.
Autumn and Tate Davison hold up their own sign to thank the Wauconda Grade School teachers and staff for the drive-by neighborhood parade Wednesday, March 25. - Courtesy of Wauconda Grade School

"Teachers are using a variety of methods to stay connected, including Google Hangouts, reading stories on Facebook video conferencing, messaging, Twitter, Class Dojo, emails, phone calls, and, of course, the remote learning materials and activities," Monroe said.

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Monroe applauds Miglans for organizing the teacher parade and thanked all of the participants.

Wauconda Grade School fifth-grade teacher Kristy Argentine and her dog, Bruce, participated in a parade Wednesday, March 25, in which 35 cars, driven by the school's teachers and staff, passed through nearby neighborhoods, waving at students and residents.
Wauconda Grade School fifth-grade teacher Kristy Argentine and her dog, Bruce, participated in a parade Wednesday, March 25, in which 35 cars, driven by the school's teachers and staff, passed through nearby neighborhoods, waving at students and residents. - Courtesy of Wauconda Grade School

"The response from our families was incredibly positive," Monroe said. "It was very important to us to let our students and families know that, even though we are separated for now, that we still care and miss them all very much."

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