Coronavirus News: Long Island town honors high school students with banners around village

GREENPORT, Long Island (WABC) -- Greenport High School has found a unique way to honor its seniors by placing banners of students on street poles around the village.

They are hard to miss, and that is precisely the point.

"Driving to work one day and I saw my face on a street pole, I thought it was awesome," senior Jackson Rung-Wile said.

Further up the street, you see more students.

"This is all from money, because I asked a simple question, would you be willing," Assistant to the Athletic Director Joan Dinizio said. "The community is just absolutely wonderful."

Dinizio saw a similar effort at another school and decided to do the same at Greenport High School.

It's a way to honor seniors whose end of the year has been sidelined during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Just so many things that are the culmination of their high school career, and they don't get to celebrate that it's really heartbreaking," Dinizio said.

Her cousin made the banners, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

She was able to raise roughly $9,000, which paid for caps and gowns, yearbooks, balloons and flowers, and class of 2020 baseball caps for graduation.

The students are incredibly grateful.

"Especially during corona, so many jobs are shut down, and people aren't making the same money that they were," Rung-Wile said. "But they were still generous with helping the school and us out, it's really nice."

Dinizio has rallied to help the school before, when the basketball team was heading to a state tournament. She raised money so coaches and parents wouldn't have to worry about it.

As for the actual graduation, officials are waiting to see when or if they get the green light.

Dinizio's already a step ahead, coming up with a plan B.

"They could do it out on our football field," she said. "It would take a bit of imagination, but it could be done. I'm hoping they can for the kids. They need some sort of closure so that they can move on."


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