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Cougar Care Caravan brings smiles to students

Blessed Trinity School organizes events to stay in touch while adhering to social distancing

VIRGINIA GARDENS | With pots, pans, and noisemakers, enthusiastic teachers and members of the home and school association welcomed students and parents back to Blessed Trinity School — sort of.

Blessed Trinity School kindergarten student Lucas Cambert holds one of the gift bags handed out to students at the "Cougar Care Caravan," May 14, 2020. Parents took their children on a "drive-by" to the school where they were given bags filled with surprises.

Photographer: JONATHAN MARTINEZ | FC

Blessed Trinity School kindergarten student Lucas Cambert holds one of the gift bags handed out to students at the "Cougar Care Caravan," May 14, 2020. Parents took their children on a "drive-by" to the school where they were given bags filled with surprises.

On May 14, 2020, the school and HSA coordinated a “Cougar Care Caravan” in which parents took their children on a “drive-by” to the school, where they were given bags filled with surprises.

“Our goal was to create a care package for every student from PreK2 to eighth grade as a heartfelt message of love from their school family during this pandemic,” said Jannet Sanchez, HSA president. “Each grade received a bag with different items catered just for their age level.”

For example, eighth-graders received graduation-themed items and second-graders received religious tokens since this is the year they will be making their first Communion.

The event took place over two days, May 14 and June 2. One by one, students began arriving. Parents honked their car horns and the teachers waved and blew kisses.

“The biggest challenge I have faced is not seeing the children every day. I miss the smiling faces, the ‘good mornings,’ and mostly the big hugs,” said Deborah Ayash, interim principal. “Seeing the students today was emotional. I was so excited and happy to see them, but at the same time, it was heartbreaking not knowing when we would be together again.”

“It was really cool to see all the teachers,” said Damian Navarro, a fifth-grader. “It was fun and it made me feel special that they did this for us.”

In addition to this event, the school, like many others throughout the archdiocese, has come up with creative ways to stay in touch with students, despite the obstacles and social distancing. For example, they had yard signs made for the new inductees to the National Junior Honor Society and those who made the principal’s honor roll, known as Cougar Distinctions.

“A handful of the faculty members delivered them to their homes with treats from our local bakery,” said Ayash. “We also delivered honor roll pins to about 75 students. Our eighth-grade parents organized caravans each weekend to visit each graduating student. They are also leaving a yard sign and a goody bag. The eighth-graders wear their cap-and-gown as the parents, faculty, and students drive by.”

Decisions about how the following school year will proceed have not been determined yet but one thing is clear, Ayash said. “We may be social distancing, but our hearts are united more than ever.”

Blessed Trinity School students Valentina Hernandez, left, and Evelyn Veiguela participate in the "Cougar Care Caravan," May 14, 2020. Parents took their children on a "drive-by" to the school where they were given bags filled with surprises.

Photographer: JONATHAN MARTINEZ | FC

Blessed Trinity School students Valentina Hernandez, left, and Evelyn Veiguela participate in the "Cougar Care Caravan," May 14, 2020. Parents took their children on a "drive-by" to the school where they were given bags filled with surprises.


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