Marching down the block

Graduation ceremonies have come in all shapes and sizes during the COVID-19 pandemic

The 2020 graduates of West 37th Street
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The 2020 graduates of West 37th Street

Among events seriously affected by the coronavirus were graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020. While restrictions were lifted for in-person ceremonies in July, the response to the issue has varied by municipality.

In Bayonne, eighth grade and high school graduates were provided with virtual and drive-thru graduations. But that hasn’t stopped locals from further celebrating the graduating Class of 2020 during the new normal.

The residents of West 37th Street celebrated local grads in their own way.

Celebrating the Class of 2020

On Sunday, June 28, the residents on West 37th Street came together to celebrate their block’s four graduates with a block-wide graduation march. The honorees marched on both sides of the street.

Residents played “Pomp and Circumstance,” the graduation march song over a speaker while the graduates marched from Avenue C to Broadway and back up on the opposite sidewalk.

Some residents walked with balloons and tambourines behind the graduates while neighbors stood at their houses, at a safe distance away, clapping, cheering them on, and taking pictures.

Communities have been going all out in their support of local graduates. West 37th Street resident Luisa Arbelo organized the event.

“It was a beautiful show of support for our recent graduates,” Arbelo said.

Graduates included Arbelo’s son Justin who graduated from Horace Mann Community School.

Others included Anthony Romano who graduated from Kean University, Sofia Sangee who graduated from Bayonne High School, and Alexandria Rivera-Bonano who graduated from Nicholas Oresko Community School.

“Let’s leave them with one last positive memory of their graduation and show them why this is the best block in Bayonne!” Arbelo said.

Now, with the Class of 2020 graduated, Bayonne looks to decide the fate of classes in the fall.

According to Superintendent of Schools John Niesz, there will be a mockup of in-person instruction set up under NJ Department of Education guidelines for review. Parents of students at Bayonne Public Schools can voice their opinions through an online survey.

For more information, visit bboed.org.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.