NUTLEY, NJ - After learning that Nutley second grader Grace Miller stands on her porch every night at 7 p.m. to clap and cheer for the Essential Personnel combating COVID-19 coronavirus, the men and women of the Nutley Volunteer Emergency and Rescue Squad (NVERS) thanked her with a drive-by Friday night.
As the clock struck 7, Grace, and her parents, Michele Traina and Craig Miller, stepped out on the porch of their Nutley home and began to clap and cheer for everyone placing themselves in harms way to help those affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. They cheered for doctors and nurses, they cheered for police and fire fighters, they cheered for hospital staff, and they cheered for the EMTs and Rescue Squads here in town and across the country who are always there to help when we are at our worst moments.
Shortly after the family started cheering, they got a surprise - the team at NVERS did a drive by.
With lights flashing and sirens blaring they made their way past Grace's porch. With so much noise, the neighbors began to emerge from their homes and started cheering as well. This wasn't just one vehicle, it was the entire NVERS fleet of ambulances and rescue vehicles. The president of NVERS drove his own car, with lights and sirens of course.
Grace's goal is to have everyone in Nutley step outside their door and clap and cheer at 7 p.m. Every night. Including tonight. And tomorrow night, and the next night.
TAPinto Nutley has learned that more and more local families are joining the effort. Last night families on Passaic Ave. and in other area of town were cheering. With today's clear skies, even more residents are expected to join the effort tonight.
With all of this going on, we had to get to the bottom of things. Just who is Grace Miller, and what are her plans?
In an exclusive interview, with her mother present, while respecting social distancing guidelines, we learned a great deal about this leader.
Grace is in the second grade at Washington Elementary School in the Nutley Public Schools district. With school now consisting of "the virtual classroom," Grace expressed that she misses her friends at school and her teacher Mrs. Hollywood.
We also learned that she is a big Disney fan, she told us that she really likes Descendants 3, but her favorite movie is Frozen 2. It was not surprise when she told us that her favorite Disney Princess was Queen Elsa of Arendelle.
Don't think she's limited her passions to just movies, her favorite book is "Because of Winn Dixie,".a children's book by Kate DiCamillo about a young girl, and a stray dog she adopted, and, well, we can't say anything else, spoilers. When the Nutley Public Library reopens, put "Because of Winn Dixie" on your "must borrow" list.
While attending school virtually, Grace learned about line graphs. She's also spent some of her "after school" time making slime videos. When she completes second grade she has big plans that include becoming a babysitter, singer, and teacher.
Michele made sure to tell us, and even texted to confirm, that they will be on the porch every night to cheer everyone on the front lines.
NVERS President Jonathan Arredondo told TAPinto Nutley that he and the entire squad were overwhelmed with gratitude to learn that Grace was doing. Arredondo told us that the squad had to express their appreciation in a special way.
He said, "It's the least we can do fo our next generation. Years from now, kids won't remember missed soccer practice, but they will remmeber their parents went outside with them and clapped to our first responders to express their gratitude to us during these existing circumstances. It's an honor for all of us at the rescue squad, to be positive role models in their lives."
TAPinto Nutley welcomes our readers to email us their photos of your family participating in #ClapBecauseWeCare. Email them to Nutley@TAPinto.net
Keep up with all COVID-19 Coronavirus news in TAPinto Nutley's Health and Wellness section.
Since 2016, TAPintoNutley.net has been the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley, and is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. The Nutley Board of Commissioners first named TAPintoNutley.net the township's 'Official Electronic News Source' in 2019.