‘My classroom just feels so empty’; Fresno preschool teachers hold a parade to reconnect with students

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FRESNO, California (KSEE) — It is hard to describe the connection that can exist between a young child and their preschool or kindergarten teacher.

Unfortunately, it’s a special bond that is being restricted during these trying times, because of the coronavirus.

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But Bluff View Private Preschool and Kindergarten in Fresno is finding unique ways to stay connected to its students.

On Tuesday in Fresno near River Park, that meant a scene that resembled something out of the movie Field of Dreams – cars filled with kids, lined up as long as the eye could see.

“We’re doing this for the kids,” said Bluff View teacher Sherri Dodd. “We’re doing this to show them we still love them, no matter what’s going on in the world.”

It wasn’t baseball the students wanted to see, but rather their teachers, as the school invited them to take part in a fun drive-thru parade on Tuesday, and the turnout was impressive.

“Oh man, I wanted to cry tears of joy,” said fellow Bluff View teacher Annelise Lyman, who teaches two and three-year-old’s at the school. “I was so excited, because my classroom just feels so empty without anybody in it.”

The school’s teachers kept their proper social distance between each other, and made signs for the kids.

Some said how much they loved — or missed — their students, and another had advice about washing their hands.

Many of the cars in the parade also had signs, expressing thanks to their teachers, while other cars were adorned with balloons or other decorations. Many of the kids poked their heads through the sunroof of their cars to wave hello to the teachers while taking part in the parade.

“You feel the weirdness a little bit,” said Bluff View parent Bo Lindblad, whose daughter Liana goes to the school. “But it’s nice to see that people are still wanting to fight through this [the pandemic], and we’re not gonna let it take us down.”

With the Bluff View classrooms and playgrounds now empty due to the virus, the learning has shifted to the home.

Staff brainstorm each week and have been e-mailing learning ideas and packets to help parents with their home-schooling.

“It kind of keeps that interaction between us and them at home going,” said Lyman. “And we get to still stay in contact with them and show them that we still care about their future. And care about them growing and learning, even when we’re not with them.”

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