CLEVELAND — The coronavirus pandemic cut short the school year for all Ohio students but for high school seniors, the shorter school year and social distancing guidelines means the end to year-end activities such as prom, senior night and graduation.
Those milestone events will not take place in the traditional way this year. That’s why across the state and country social media is helping to soften the blow.
From Aurora to Avon there is a social medial movement underway aimed at helping ease the pain of saying goodbye to once in a lifetime school experience.
“From the day they’re born you picture them in a cap and gown, moving the tassel. It stings, it hurts, it brings tears to my eyes,” said Leslie Knox, an Avon Lake mom and nurse.
Dozens of parents across Northeast Ohio have started the Adopt-A-Senior page on Facebook.
“I feel bad for the kids, my heart goes out to all of them,” said Dell-Ann Lewis, who started a community Adopt-A-Senior page in Avon.
“We really wanted to make it a community-based thing so we’re not only honoring seniors at Avon High School. We’re also pulling in seniors that might go to private schools,” Lewis said, adding the student must live in Avon.
Parents post a picture and some information about their child, then community members can adopt a student by sending cards, letters, online messages or gifts.
Communities are already responding to the movement.
“It’s a great feeling to know that the whole community of Avon Lake is backing us up,” said Carter Knox, a graduating senior.
Debbie Lamp’s son is graduating from Black River High School this year. She started a page for Black River, Wellington and Keystone.
Lamp said the community has been extremely supportive and the seniors love it.
“When they see them coming, what are they here for?” she said. “They bring gifts and put pictures on Facebook, it’s kind of cool to see that,” Lamp said.
Many school districts are still deciding how to handle year end activities with state mandates still in place.
Gov. Mike DeWine suggested Wednesday that graduation ceremonies be held virtually or in a drive-in fashion.