PROSPECT PARK, NJ - An outdoor drive-through graduation celebration was held on Saturday for the eighth grade class of 2020 in Prospect Park as a way to recognize their achievements while also reconciling safety requirements during the ongoing pandemic.
The Mayor, members of the borough council, administration, Commissioner Bridget Arrick, Board of Education President Daysi Gonzalez, and others were on hand with local and county police overseeing the safety of the event. The students and their families lined up in their cars to proceed in a caravan into Hofstra Park. While they were waiting, officials distributed census forms for those families which had yet to fill it out. Once ready, a police car lead the way, blasting Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance." As the parade rolled up into the park, the cars, many bedecked in balloons and written-on with messages, headed to several stations positioned along the road.
As the cars came up, students and their families had a chance to get a picture in front of a balloon display reading "2020" with the Prospect Park water tower standing tall in the background. Once back in their cars, they leisurely passed a DJ playing music and headed down the road where officials waited to announce each student, hand out a certification, goodies, and have a picture taken by a professional photographer with a backdrop screen set up for the students. Once done, the cars would head back down and have an opportunity to stop at an ice cream truck and get food on the way towards the exit.
Scores of cars participated, and operations were hampered only by a brief but strong rain shower which rolled through at approximately 5:40 p.m.
"I want to thank the Board of Education for working with us on this project," Mayor Mohamed Khairullah told TAPinto Hawthorne. "The end of eight-years-plus of schooling should be celebrated by the entire community, so that's why we felt we needed to do this drive through celebration. It is to show the students that the entire community is celebrating their achievement and that we're behind them to support them throughout their educational career. We come together as one community despite what anyone might want to frame otherwise. We're together as one community with the municipality and the Board of Education, here for the children."
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