SUNBURY — Despite the rain and Covid-19, Shikellamy teachers in 40 vehicles drove the streets of Sunbury honking their horns in a show of love for their students.
Chief Shikellamy teachers, Nichole Hicks and Mindy Kisner decided earlier this week to reach out to fellow teachers and see if anyone was interested in gathering — six feet away from each other — and driving around the district to say hello to their students.
They called the event the "Social Distancing Teacher Love Train."
"We decided this after the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced Monday that all schools will be closed through at least April 6," Hicks said.
So, at 12:30 p.m. at the Sunbury Ice Rink, 40 teachers sat in their vehicles and prepared to drive the town for more than an hour.
"We miss our students and we miss being at school," Hicks said. "This was just a way for us to get out and see our kids and let them know we didn't forget them."
Students held signs directed to their teachers saying "I miss you," and "We want to come back to school," while educators hung out of their windows saying hello.
"I want to go back to school," Hayden Wertz, 9, said. "I think this was so cool to see my teachers drive by and say hello."
Rudy Frazier, 11, a fifth-grade student at Chief Shikellamy agreed. "I miss everyone and my friends," he said. "I want to go back to school."
Teacher Colleen Kerber said she loved seeing the children and families.
"I knew when we set our hearts on doing this it would be amazing," she said. "What I wasn't prepared for was the beautiful turn out of our community. We were greeted throughout the town with signs. We all miss spending our days with the children and we wanted everyone to know the children are treasured and that we are all in this together."
Shikellamy Superintendent Jason Bendle said complimented the district's teachers and the community for being supportive during difficult times.
"I’m proud that the teachers went out and held car parade," Bendle said. "I think it truly shows how much the students mean to them."
Selinsgrove teachers will hold a similar parade in their community today, according to a report by school district Police Chief Mark Wolfberg.
Wolfberg said teachers will meet in the high school parking lot shortly after 3 p.m. and will parade through the community.