Teachers’ Drive-by Easter Parade Lifts Students’ Spirits

By Jessica Easthope

CORONA — A drive-by Easter parade is how teachers from Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Academy in Corona, Queens, chose to stay as close to their students as possible during a time when they can’t be together in person.

“It’s just to bring happiness … and to bring everything together,” explained Dr. Cristina Tancredi Cruz, the school’s principal. “And we’re very family-oriented, and so it was important for us to do this for the kids.”

Ten teachers joined Dr. Cruz in making 29 stops on April 8 at the homes and apartment buildings where their students live and now learn as online education has replaced the classroom.

Teachers from Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Academy in Corona came up with a unique way to hold an Easter parade for over 100 of their students during the current shut-in order. (Photo: Jessica Easthope)

“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 kids are not the only ones who benefited from the parade: “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 the family of a student whose grandmother died of coronavirus. Her grandfather is still in critical condition.

They dropped off groceries and a check as a gesture to show the student and her family that they’re loved and missed.

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