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South Sioux City elementary teachers greet their students on parade route
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Saying hi to homebound kids

South Sioux City elementary teachers greet their students on parade route

COVID-19 Teacher parade

Tomi Dahl and her children, Jackson Moss, 6, and Lucy Moss, 4, wave to their teachers during a parade Tuesday in South Sioux City. It was the latest parade in Siouxland designed for teachers to stay in touch with children who have been homebound since the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close earlier in March.

SOUTH SIOUX CITY -- Kaelee Anderson knew how to make an impression. The Covington Elementary School first-grade teacher rode Tuesday in the back of a truck wearing a giant dinosaur costume.

"Most of my students saw me in my 'Rex the Dinosaur' costume last Halloween," she explained. "Thought I'd dress up as 'Rex' one more time."

Anderson was one of the teachers and faculty members who participated in an informal parade in the neighborhood around the 2116 A St. school Tuesday afternoon.

It was one of many such parades that have been taking place in Siouxland in the past few weeks, allowing teachers to touch base with students stuck at home since schools closed earlier in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

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COVID-19 Teacher parade

"Teachers wanted to come out and say hi to the kids in order to show them how much we missed them," she said at the start of the parade. "Due to COVID-19, classes were canceled so quickly, there wasn't much chance for closure."

Sara Friedrichsen also wanted to say hi to her students, even though the fifth-grade teacher has seen quite a few of them during the lunch hour.

COVID-19 Teacher parade

Garrett Reman, left, holds Avery Reman as he and Beth Reman and Ezra Reman, right, wave during a parade Tuesday in South Sioux City that allowed teachers to say hi to their students.

"I help to distribute free grab-and-go sack lunches," she said. "It's always fun catching up with the kids."

This was certainly the case with Madyson Warnock, who was all waves on the parade route.

"I saw my teacher," Madyson, a Covington second-grader, said to her mom, Amanda Warnock. "My teacher waved back at me and honked her car horn."

COVID-19 Teacher parade

Chevay Gill waves to her teachers as her grandfather Toby Royster holds Cortez Gill during the teacher parade Tuesday in South Sioux City.

"Madyson likes school and misses her teachers," Amanda Warnock said. "Madyson knows why it isn't safe to have classes at school but she's still trying to get the hang of doing schoolwork from home."

According to Anderson, striking a perfect balance can be difficult, especially for younger kids.

"First-graders don't understand anything about pandemics," she said. "They just know that things are different."

Damian Terriquez said he missed school, but the Covington fourth-grader didn't mind getting a break from it.

COVID-19 Teacher parade

Sara Friedrichsen waves to kids and families during the teacher parade March 31 in South Sioux City.

Indeed, it meant more time to play with his brother Christian, a Covington kindergartner.

"I've always liked teachers but, now, I have so much admiration for the works that they do," mom Monica Terriquez said as her kids waved on the parade route. "You forget how much energy kids have unless they're home all day long."

Editor's note: In an earlier version of this article, teacher Kaelee Anderson's name was misspelled.

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