There were no hugs or handshakes because of social distancing guidelines, but teachers and staff from Newbridge Road Elementary School in the North Bellmore School District still found a way to say goodbye to two students who are moving out of state.
Fourth grader Maya Ransom and her brother, Cash, a second grader, will be heading south before school reopens. On April 14, Newbridge Road staff had a car parade to their house to give the youngsters a special send-off. Staff members gathered in front of the school to write messages on their car windows before heading to the Ransoms’ house.
Mother Cindy Ransom mentioned to Principal Denise Fisher and staff that the family would be outside that day if anyone wanted to come and say goodbye to the children. In the early afternoon she saw secretary Chris Kropp walking to the house, then noticed the convoy of cars behind her. Within moments, a dozen Newbridge staff members had lined the street, waving and holding up handmade signs for Maya and Cash. The siblings also made their own sign saying “We’ll miss you very much” to show their visitors.
“When all the teachers showed up, it was almost like a trip down memory lane,” Cindy said, noting that those who visited included Maya and Cash’s current and former teachers, as well as special area teachers. “It was an amazing surprise.”
Music teacher Carol Ng got out of her car and set up a microphone and speaker, leading the group in two songs, “It’s You I Like” from Mr. Rogers and “Proud to Be an American,” a planned selection for the spring concert.
Laurie Harrington, Cash’s second grade teacher, noted that the philosophy at Newbridge is to show HEART – honesty, empathy, acceptance, respect and teamwork – and that the visit to the children was a beautiful way of displaying that.
“Teachers, custodians, secretaries, students and neighbors all showed their love and support for the Ransom family,” Ms. Harrington said. “Without hugs and practicing social distancing, the Ransoms felt the love.”
JoAnn Belferder presented her student, Maya, with a couple of gifts to remember her fourth grade class. In addition to Ms. Belferder, Ms. Harrington, Ms. Kropp and Ms. Ng, staff who participated in the parade included Jim Breslin, Lynda Brust, Deb Edgerly, Jill Emmer, Michelle Hooker, Tina Smart, Laura Stasi and Mary Yager.
Maya cited as one of her favorite Newbridge memories watching the older students perform “Aladdin,” while Cash loved recess with his friends. Both said most of all they will miss Ms. Fisher’s morning hugs.
Cindy Ransom, who was co-president of the PTA last year, said it will be hard to leave a community that is so close and supportive. From the principal, to the teachers, to the support staff, she noted that everyone at Newbridge Road is extremely caring and dedicated. She explained that Maya and Cash were “over the moon” from the outpouring of love they received from the Newbridge Road teachers and staff.
“We know that this community, this school, this principal, these teachers, they’re so special and so unique,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like we’re just leaving a school. We’re leaving a family. But the good thing about family is they stay family.”