MLMS creates festive parade for 8th graders
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Joy broke out in the bus loop at Miami Lakes Middle School on a recent Tuesday night.
Eighth graders who once looked forward to their last three months of middle school and preparing for high school instead were confined to their homes, protected from the coronavirus while attending classes via their computers.
But on the night of June 2, the students cut loose, sort of, with the help of teachers, parents and grandparents.
Cars filled with generations of families and decorated -- with signs, balloons, a giant graduation cap and Bible verses -- drove through a gauntlet of good cheer at 6425
Miami Lakeway North.
The soon-to-be-former students were greeted with a wall of sound from loudspeakers that blasted everything from Celia Cruz to Cardi B.
Teachers and administrators cheered through their protective masks, blew kisses and danced.
Newly sprung from quarantine themselves, the teachers played along to the soundtrack with cowbells, tambourines, maracas and a guira, a percussion instrument from the Dominican
Republic, for the students they had missed so much.
The kids’ reactions ranged from mortified to jubilant.
Parents paused their cars mid-parade for Principal Maria Medina and staff to hand out souvenir tumblers and have students pose behind a picture frame.
The kids don’t know if they’ll be able to go to their high school campuses in a few months, or how much the pandemic will continue to shape their futures.
But on this night there were no tears because life, as Celia Cruz sang in one of her most beloved songs, was a carnival.