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The pandemic was not yet over, so how to graduate these kids? The solution was called a 'honk-out parade'

DAVID F. ASHTON - Vehicles, carrying graduating Duniway Elementary School fifth graders, paraded in front of the school on June 9th, along S.E. Reed College Place. It was called a graduation Honk-Out Parade. On the Wednesday afternoon that school let out for the summer – teachers, parents, and Eastmoreland neighbors gathered to honor the graduating fifth-graders of the Duniway Elementary School with what they called their first-ever "Honk-Out Parade".

A giant arch of balloons over the northbound lane of Reed College Place was placed in front of the school – under which vehicles transporting the fifth-graders were to travel.

THE BEE relied on the Duniway Principal, Matt Goldstein, to explain exactly what a "Honk-Out" is, as related to these departing fifth graders:

"Before the COVID pandemic, we recognized our departing fifth graders with a 'clap-out' in which our staff, parents, and students applauded our students moving on to middle school while they walked through the halls and exited the building," Goldstein explained. Since social distancing was still required, the graduates were in cars, and the sound of applause was replaced with car horns.

"This year, we're recognizing about 73 fifth-graders who are finishing out their time with us," the Principal added.

This was his eighth successive "graduation" at Duniway, observed Goldstein. "I've seen these students since they started kindergarten; it's really fun to see what happens over six years of school.

"When they first come to us, at about age five, they know only themselves," Goldstein continued. "And then, in a matter of only six years, they're really ready to go into the 'greater world' being taller, and more mature. It gives you real hope for the future."

At 2 p.m., the procession of vehicles carrying fifth graders drove under the balloon arch, and waved goodbye to their teachers, younger students, and their school. There was some honking. Here's a taste of the fun of this unusual graduation celebration, in a brief BEE video –

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