Sweet send-offs at Early Years

Sweet send-offs at Early Years

By Kyla Hurt

Jacksonville School District #117 Early Years 0-5 Program Principal Sarah English says the staff and educators have been coming out to wave and personally send off the students essentially all of their school year.

Previously, the farewell had been a one-time happening, taking part on the last day of school. However, in response to COVID-19, English explains, “It really just came about to ensure those protocols for safety are taking place, so that’s why more [adults] were outside.”

The Early Years teachers and staff line the length of the building to wave goodbye to the children.

The natural reaction of any person who works with children and cares for them is to smile and wave as they head off in their yellow school buses for the day. Soon, more came out to join the daily adieu. “Now, the bus drivers are waving, too,” adds English.

It may seem small, but it is something. For the Early Years 0-5 Program, this is a time when teachers are “lacking that touch and contact with a kid … a hug, a high five, just sitting on a lap reading a book,” says English. The daily send-off fills a bit of that void.

Friday, December 18 was the last day of school for the program. Even over the school year says English, “I don’t think it’s lost its luster.”

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About the author

Kyla Hurt is a capable boondoggler trained in the arts; she’s also an accomplished event coordinator with experience from museum fundraising to art festivals. She enjoys puppies, sunshine, and good radishes – and wit. Wit is good, too.

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