Young kids on Long Island put skills to the test to make their own Thanksgiving parade

Stacey Sager Image
Thursday, November 17, 2022
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Students at Baldwin Elementary on Long Island are using their skills to create their own Thanksgiving parade balloons. Stacey Sager has the story.

BALDWIN, Long Island (WABC) -- A group of kids on Long Island decided to start their own event after missing the biggest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country due to COVID.

And now keeping a parade in Baldwin has become tradition.

It all started as a pandemic idea - if the kids couldn't get to the main parade, then the parade would come to them - virtually.

So it has stayed at Brookside Elementary and here's how it works: kindergarteners partner with 2nd graders to create their favorite parade "balloons" - and with some coding lessons and "sphero balls," the balloons - controlled by the kids - make their way down a legit parade route.

Their hallway may not be Central Park South, but it's a creative design mixed with tech, coding and social studies.

"We learned a lot about the inventor, Tony Sarg," said kindergarten teacher Jessica Piccarillo.

He created the first balloons for the Macy's parade.

The students also learned a lot about growth mindset and persevering.

Plus there's nothing like watching Sonic, for example, and his co-star Knuckles coming down the parade route with a kindergartener at the helm.

"It's so funny to see kindergarteners and 2nd graders talking to each other like that, and using directions like, 'No, you have to go around Columbus Circle over here,'" said 2nd-grade teacher Lauren Maywald.

Back in the classroom, Baldwin's videographer Shawn Moran teaches the kids how to use the camera to create parade footage.

Once he shoots the video at the green screen, that's when the magic really starts to happen and it's like their balloons are really at the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

And whether it's Hello Kitty, Olaf or an any others who fly across screen or sky, it's a holiday lesson to be thankful for.

HOLIDAY NEWS | Everything we know about the 2022 Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade

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