Summer Frisco waved to families driving through the Tunkhannock Area Primary Center parking lot on Friday.
“Happy summer,” the principal told one student. “First grade next year, buddy.”
The purpose was to pick up belongings left in classrooms from an abrupt end to the school year, but Frisco and the primary center teachers saw another opportunity.
“We felt it was just really important for our students to be able to see their teachers, wish them a happy summer, and kind of close out the year,” she said.
Teachers bagged up items that their students left behind and collected library books they haven’t been able to return. All elementary students received a gift bag courtesy of the Parent Teacher Organization, and some teachers had their own end-of-year gifts to give out.
The primary center has been closed since mid-March when Gov. Tom Wolf shut down all schools in Pennsylvania for COVID-19 precautions. This made the remainder of the school year quite different for Tunkhannock Area students.
“Education is built on relationships and community, and I think that this team at the PC did the very best we could for our students,” Frisco said. “These kids have been working so hard in the digital learning platform. We’re super, super proud of them. Everybody has really stepped up – teachers, students, all of our staff. Everybody has worked so, so hard to really make it the best possible situation.”
A steady line of vehicles went through the parking lot throughout the morning, with everyone pleased to see familiar faces.
“This is such a pick me up,” Frisco said.
Second grade teacher Judy Weber and kindergarten teacher Jen Gallup helped Frisco plan the sendoff. They agreed that providing kids and their teachers with closure was important.
“We especially felt for the second grade kids that are going to the intermediate center, that they won’t be back to this building next year,” Weber said. “It was good for them and it’s also good for the teachers to have closure too with the students.”
The sendoff also served as an “official start of their summer,” she said.
“It’s been really great just to be able to see them once more before they move on to the next grade,” Gallup added.
The principal’s message for students is to keep looking forward to the fall.
“We’re going to make it a great year,” Frisco said. “Keep in touch with your teacher, play outside, read books and learn every day.”