After keeping a close watch on weather forecasts, the folks at Bethel Park’s George Washington Elementary School chose Wednesday for what turned out to be an ideal day for a parade.

Under a cloudless sky and with the thermometer pushing well into the 60s, Washington faculty and staff members drove through the neighborhoods the school serves, waving to children who were excited to see the procession from safe distances because of COVID-19.

For Student Appreciation Week, May 11-15, the school scheduled two special events. Along with the parade was a cookie pickup at Eat’n Park on Fort Couch Road, with each youngster who visited receiving a free treat.

The parade ended up taking place the day before it originally was scheduled because of calls for the Pittsburgh region’s seemingly omnipresent spring rain.

“The last few months have been difficult and unprecedented for most individuals, and the staff at Washington Elementary wants you to know that we continue to work to support both you and your children,” Principal Fred Pearson wrote in a letter to students’ families. “As we move into the final stretch of the school year, our hope is to maintain the strong bond that exists between the staff and our precious student body.”

Vehicles in the parade were decorated with festive adornments and messages of encouragement, and a Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Company truck, always a children’s favorite, brought up the rear of the entourage.

“I hope that our attempt to share goodwill lightens your day and puts a smile on your child’s face,” Pearson wrote. “On behalf of the staff at Washington Elementary we wish you all the best and look forward to seeing each of you again very soon.”

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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