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Kindergarten students surprise teacher with a drive-by

Crystal Warren, a Kindergarten teacher at Black Street Early Childhood Center, stands in shock in front of her home as she looks down the street to see cars lined up with her students hanging signs out all showing her love. Photo by Jordan Slocum

To say missing the last several weeks of school has been hard on everyone is a massive understatement. Teachers, students and parents have all been vocal on social media about how hard it has been. Mostly, the social aspect of being around others has really taken a toll on students while teachers have missed seeing their students face to face. Kindergarten students will be missing a huge celebrated milestone as they are leaving the first stage of their education behind and racing towards the first grade.
No teacher knows this huge step better than Crystal Warren, a kindergarten teacher at Black Street Early Childhood Center. Since her 25 students headed home on March 13, she has kept in touch. Warren is famous for talking to her students about her dog, Mollie. She sends her students pictures of Mollie through Class Dojo, an online platform BSECC is using to keep in touch. She has also been encouraging them to continue to read, go over their sight words and even post science experiments for them to try at home with the supervision of an adult.
Her students are mostly confused. They don’t understand why they can’t go to school. They have lots of questions about “the virus”. Mainly, they just want to know about their friends and their teacher. They were thrilled to get a letter in the mail from their teacher and suddenly had her address as she had written her return address on the letter. An idea began brewing and with a little help from social media, a group of parents was able to pull together and have a surprise drive-by parade for their beloved teacher.
Luckily, one of Warren’s neighbors agreed to let the parents line up in front of her house. Warren’s daughter was in on the surprise and vowed to make sure her mother stayed at home on the morning of the parade. She wasn’t planning on her mom having a zoom meeting at the same time and began to panic. She started asking Warren how much longer she would be and was pushing her to get off the conference call. Suddenly the doorbell rang. The daughter knew it was the parade and refused to answer the door, telling her mother she did not know who was on the other side. Warren went to the door and saw a co-worker from another school and wondered why Mrs. West was at her door. Mrs. West asked her to step outside and Warren realized her babies were lined up in front of her house, many standing tall with signs out of the sunroofs of their parents’ cars. She gasped with excitement and ran towards the road waving both arms at her children as they started yelling “I love you, Mrs. Warren”. As the cars passed by, students dropped their signs, letters and pictures in a bag for their teacher. Many blowing kisses which made her eyes leak tears of joy.

Warren later posted on her Facebook page “I’m still in shock from this am! The feeling is so hard to explain. I have been teaching more than half my life and know this was God’s plan for me. These precious children think I taught them, in reality, they all taught me so much! Thank you so much for organizing this and for all the awesome parents and my babies, who took the time to give me the biggest surprise of my life! I love you all so very much! I’ve read every single card, sign and my heart is so full! God sure has blessed me with the most amazing children and parents!”
Warren has been teaching for the last 24 years. She has taught Kindergarten for 15 of those years. She has seen several of her babies leave Colleton County and achieve the dreams they once told her about in the early years of their education. Learning has changed so drastically overnight for our students. Warren’s reports all of her students have been working on their distance learning packets. Learning may likely look very different when these kindergarten students are allowed to return to school in the fall. Based on the resilience they have shown over the past almost two months, the sky is the limit for the class of 2032.

Signs, letters and drawings all left in front of Mrs. Warren’s house from her students. Each one with a special message of love and encouragement from her young students.
Photo by Jordan Slocum
Christie Slocum (595 Posts)