Teachers at Union Ridge Elementary School missed seeing their students, so they held a car parade through their students' neighborhoods.  On Thursday, dozens of teachers’ cars lined up in the elementary school parking lot, overflowing all the way out to Pioneer Street.  The colorful cars were decorated with signs, balloons, and streamers.  Songs blasted through car speakers as the teachers waited for the signal to go; they were looking forward to greeting their students for the first time in weeks. 

With a Ridgefield motorcycle officer leading the way, the car parade made its way slowly through the city.  Students and families stood along driveways and sidewalks clapping and waving handmade signs: “We love our teachers!” “We miss you!” “Thank you!”  The kids pointed and cheered extra hard when they saw their own teachers.  Teachers honked and waved at everyone as they drove past.  They were all excited to see each other again, even if it had to be from a safe distance. 

Washington state schools will be closed through the end of the school year, so it was meaningful for Union Ridge teachers and staff to make a gesture of support for their students as they prepared to start distance learning.  Principal Angie Gaub sent a message to her students, “All of us miss you guys so much!  We’re excited for this opportunity to wave at you and show you how much we care about you.”

Many parents admitted to being emotional, seeing kids back with their teachers after so long apart.  And it was a welcome change for the students to feel like part of their school again.  Melissa Hoskinson said on Nextdoor, “What a wonderful experience.  We didn’t even realize how much we needed that until afterward.  This is such a beautiful community we are grateful to be a part of.” 

Many thanks to Union Ridge Elementary School teachers and staff for this special event. And thank you to all the students and families that came out to participate and be part of #RidgefieldResilient.