By Jessica Easthope
A drive-by Easter parade is how teachers from Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Academy in Corona, Queens, are staying close to their students at a time when they can’t be together in person.
“It’s just to bring happiness, and of course it’s Easter, and to bring everything together. And we’re very family oriented, and so it was important for us to do this for the kids,” explained Dr. Cristina Tancredi Cruz, the school’s principal.
Ten teachers plus Dr. Cruz made 29 stops April 8 at the homes and apartment buildings where their students live and now learn as online education has replaced a classroom.
“It hurts not to see them, that spark, but these teachers are magical,” Dr. Cruz said. “What they do is they try to bring out the best in them, and they try to make it fun.”
More than 100 students from the school were thrilled to see their teachers, waving from windows and doorsteps, Dr. Cruz said the parade is not only for them.
“It’s not just the kids, it’s the parents also. We’re all in the same boat, and we’re hoping to just bring a smile to everyone’s faces.”
The last stop on the parade route was the most special: the teachers visited a student whose grandmother died of coronavirus. Her grandfather is still in critical condition. They dropped off groceries and a check, a gesture to show the student and her family they’re loved and missed.