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Drive-by parades help Burges CDL students, pre-kindergarteners keep in touch

Burges CDL parade  Burges CDL parade

Burges CDL parade  Burges CDL parade

(BURGES HIGH SCHOOL -- Feb. 9, 2021) — Burges students shared some Valentine’s Day love with the kids in the child development lab last weekend, creating a parade with some goodies to give the little ones for at-home projects.

While the Burges students in the CDL program have mostly kept their interactions with the pre-kindergarteners to Zoom meetings, the big kids and small kids do have safe monthly meet-ups via the now-familiar drive-by parades.

“CDL is a great hands-on program, so teaching during these times is difficult,” said Burges teacher Linda Jennings said. “We’re wishing the little ones were there for the big ones in the program, but we are making it work.” 

Jennings said the monthly drive-by events, which focus on a theme much like they would do during normal times, is a way to keep the students connected. So far, none of the 10 CDL kids have missed a parade. 

“They form a relationship where they just love each other,” Jennings said. 

The program, which is normally open for 3- and 4-year-olds, was limited to last year’s 3-year-olds during this unprecedented school year with interaction virtual during school days. 

“We’ve gotten to see them online but it’s not the same as in school,” said senior Emily Lopez, a second year CDL student. “For almost every month we’ve thrown a parade so we can see the kids.  We give them projects they would normally be doing at school –  art projects, crayons, coloring books, construction paper. We want them feel like it’s a little bit more like school.”

The students got out of their cars briefly to see the Burges students and Jennings and pick up their goody bags. 

“I love seeing the kids,” Lopez said. “Even though they are a little shy, you can see they are excited to be here.”

Story and photos by Reneé de Santos