by Stacie Varanelli, West Orange Education Association

With Governor Murphy’s announcement that public schools would remain closed through the rest of the school year, the staff of Hazel Elementary School reached out to its students to spread the love at a special and “social distancing”staff car parade.

It was a special and moving event for not just the students, but also families and the elderly in the community.

Approximately 40 cars, all decorated with positive messages, balloons, and ribbons, joined the parade. West Orange Education Association members, including teachers, office personnel, nurse, and paraprofessionals all participated, and were joined by administration, the head custodian and lunch aides. The police and fire department got wind of what was going to transpire and they voluntarily joined the car parade, adding to the unified support communicated to all who experienced it.

Students, parents and neighbors shared smiles, posters, noise and happy tears at the sight of their little community school’s outpouring of love and encouragement. Former Hazel families were also along the route, showing their never-forgotten Hazel pride. 

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