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Tallahassee teachers form 'smile parade' to comfort students amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:01 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 23:49:20-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Taking a cue from a viral post on Facebook, a Tallahassee teacher and her coworkers planned a "smile parade" to visit their students from a safe distance.

Rachel Townshend posted about it on her Facebook page to see if other teachers were interested. A few days later, around 45 teachers had signed up to take part.

Teachers, staff and administrators gathered in their personal cars covered in signage and positive messages to brighten their student's day.

They waved out their car windows and sun roofs as they passed the families, some with signs reading "We miss you!" and "Wash your hands."

"To see what they're doing here and I think over at Buck Lake as well today, to get out in the community, to just allow students to lay eyes on their teachers it's a very important thing," said Chris Petley, spokesperson of Leon County Schools. "We know that the emotional part of this over the next couple of weeks in our country and in our community is going to take a toll."

The school is planning to do the smile parade every Monday until the kids can return to the school, and welcome teachers, students, and parents from any other area to join in the smile parade.