Graduations all over the country were canceled due to COVID-19, leaving millions of students disappointed. Marlboro Middle School found a creative way to honor their students while continuing to social distance by holding a motorcade for the eighth graders.
All eighth graders were invited to line up at the high school at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and started driving throughout town and towards the middle school at 1:00 p.m. Teachers and staff were waiting at the middle school to cheer the cars on.
“We put a lot of thought and planning into the motorcade and it became one of the most special times in middle school history,” Dawn Schreiber, a secretary at the middle school, said.
Parents were encouraged to decorate their cars, one even came with a banner of their child attached to their car. The school was expecting 25 cars to show up and was happily surprised when the total came out to 96, according to Schreiber.
“Some people were pretty creative. We had fun decorating the cars, seeing how friends decorate their cars, and we felt like mini celebrities,” Lisa Neer said.
Starting with a police escort, the cars made their way through town where local shop keepers and Marlboro residents were cheering the students on.
“So many teachers, staff, administrators and the Superintendent were there cheering on the kids,” Kathy McAteer said. “The teachers had signs and we were all so excited. My son said it was better than a traditional graduation ceremony.”
Because of the coronavirus outbreak students have been partaking in online learning for the last few months of the school year. The students have been trying to adjust to the challenges that online learning creates, and the school wanted to make sure the students had something to look forward to after a stressful few months.
“It’s been a tough year for all the teachers and students to adjust to online learning and Wednesday was just the opposite,” Schreiber said. “The camaraderie of the teachers and staff, combined with smiling faces of the excited students and parents was one I’ll never forget.”
Marlboro Middle School staff are planning on going door to door to deliver backpacks with their diplomas and awards to all of the eighth graders. Marlboro Elementary School hosted their own motorcade for the fifth graders, and Marlboro High School is working on ways to make graduation exciting for their seniors.
“The motorcade gave you the warm fuzzies inside,” Schreiber said. “I felt very proud being a part of this day and I hope it helped to brighten up the spirits of our eighth grade students.”