The drive by tried to go past all the houses of tiny Hancock School's 49 students.
HANCOCK, Mass. — Members of the Hancock School community drove through Hancock, Lanesborough, and Cheshire to say a quick hello to students during what they called a "COVID-19 Ride By."
In these times of school closures and social distancing, the participants said its always nice to see a familiar face in person even if it is from your front lawn.
"Peer and social contact are necessary to maintain a healthy, balanced emotion outlook. Something like this keeps us positive, upbeat, and our interrelationships strong," teacher Janet Tremblay said. "Additionally, we are all thinking of the school community during this unprecedented time. We do miss them, we do care about them, we do love them, and we do want to show them."
Schools were closed across the state two weeks ago because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and aren't expected to open until at least May 4.
Friday morning, a group of around 17 teachers and staff (with puppies and babies) drove through the three rural communities the beeping and waving to students and families stuck inside during the COVID-19 outbreak. A group in the Northern Berkshire School Union did a similar ride-by of their schools on Friday.
Families congregated on their front lawns with signs and streamers.
Tremblay said she saw the idea on Facebook and sent out a feeler to her colleagues to see who was interested.
"Parents are the first line of comfort to a child but the adults they share a quarter of every weekday with become a very strong and meaningful component of their world," she said. "We care dearly for our students, parents, and school community at large and want to let them know we are thinking of them, miss them, care about them, love them, and we are willing to show them this."
The caravan started in Williamstown and tried to drive by all 49 students and their families. Tremblay said they plan to drop off any necessities (books, lessons, food, milk, paper products, coats, technology, etc.) students or families may request.
"It is especially important for those having a difficult time away from school to know and see that we are still close by," Tremblay said. "Coming to the realization we are in this crazy time together gives them the safe and confident sense that it will be okay. Also, we can still have fun together even though we can’t see each other every day."
Tremblay noted that this is not an easy time for families and the school community is happy to lend some support.
"On top of all the domestic concerns that go along with supporting and raising a family, they are now in the position of playing make-shift teacher," she said. "If this gives them some support, a break from being inside the home, seeing their child smile, or just a chuckle it's all worth it."