With high school seniors missing out on so many traditional events this spring, the Lewiston-Porter United Teachers wanted to do something special for their Class of 2020 students.
“We felt so bad for our seniors,” said union President Brett Coppins, a high school art teacher and Lew-Port grad himself. “It’s usually such a meaningful time of the year — with prom, award ceremonies, graduation. What a terrible time for them to have to be so separate.”
So Lew-Port educators came up with a new rite of passage to honor their grads this week, placing a “Home of a Lewiston-Porter Senior” sign on the front lawn of every graduating senior. Of course the signs were in green and white school colors, complete with the Lancer school emblem.
The idea came from LPUT treasurer Nicole Krawczyk, a high school business teacher and parent of a senior student-athlete. What began as an idea to recognize a small number of senior athletes grew into recognition for every single senior, Coppins said. Educators drove around town planting a total of 165 signs, with some students coming to their windows during this time of social distancing.
The senior sign project is one of several LPUT efforts to support the western New York community during this difficult time. The union has raised more than $10,000 through the Lew Port Community Relief Go Fund Me page, enabling the union to provide:
- $1,000 to the Care N Share food pantry;
- $100 Tops supermarket gift cards for 43 needy families identified by social workers and faculty; and
- $500 each to two projects sponsored by Lew-Port alumni: the Intubation Boxes Go Fund Me project proposed by Dan Buttery and the Operation Protect our Protectors Go Fund Me sponsored by Jeannine Alsous and Peter Genovese.
“We’re continuing to brainstorm other options for supporting the community,” Coppins said. “We know a lot of families are struggling out there.