Grant teachers connect with students from a distance

MUSCATINE, Iowa—With Iowa’s school closures extended through April 30, Grant Elementary School teachers wanted to stay in contact with their students. Inspired by the success Jefferson Elementary had with the Jefferson Jamboree, they decided to host a car parade of their own. 

Friday, April 3, 33 cars filled with Grant teachers and staff lined up at the school, and then drove through the neighborhood around Grant and all the way up to M&W Trailer Court on Highway 61 to see students living there. Each car featured homemade signs reminding students that their teachers miss them a lot. 

Grant Principal Leslie Bennett shared she received nothing but good feedback from the families the car parade passed. “We had so many positive emails, Facebook posts, and phone calls from families reporting how much they enjoyed the parade!” Bennett said. “It was a nice surprise to see so many other Muscatine residents come out of their homes along the route just to enjoy the parade and wave hello!” she added.

For teachers and staff driving in the parade, the day proved fun, if a little bittersweet. “There was a wide range of emotions from enthusiasm and energy to pangs of sadness due to the fact that we miss the students so very much,” recalls Bennett. 

Along with putting on the parade, Grant teachers have found many ways to connect with students, which include hosting virtual book clubs, sending letters and small gifts, and creating a private YouTube channel.