This Saturday, Waynesboro High School seniors can enjoy a night of popcorn, social interaction and “Remember the Titans” during a senior movie night at Bridge Christian Church.
Kristen Heizer, American Sign Language teacher, and band director Keith Smith organized the event as senior sponsors. Heizer said a driving force behind organizing a movie night was the desire to supply some sense of normalcy in a year where seniors are missing out on typical events.
“We wanted to do something to bring them together and allow them to feel like seniors in high school, but also be socially distant and responsible,” she said.
The students will gather to watch the classic football movie in the parking lot of Bridge Christian Church, where they will be instructed to space their cars out and stay with the group they arrived with. Students will receive popcorn and drinks if they choose, but they are encouraged to bring their own snacks as well. Masks are required when not eating.
The decision to host the event at the church came at the recommendation of Waynesboro’s athletic director Jeremiah Major, who attends the church. Heizer said the process of planning the movie night went quickly, with most of the focus on how to ensure the safety of students.
“Planning hasn’t been too different than normal,” Heizer said. “It was just answering the questions of how can we distance kids, how can we provide food in a safe way and how can we get 50 to 100 kids together in one place and make it a safe event. That’s part of why we’re thankful to do it at Bridge Church because they have a huge parking lot that lets the kids be together while also spaced out.”
Heizer and Smith say they don’t know how many kids will show up, but that if the night is a success it can potentially lead to future fundraisers to host more events at the church for seniors. A big goal is to eventually fund a prom for students this year.
“We didn’t want our first senior event of the year to be a fundraiser,” Smith said. “We would like to make it a fundraiser in the future if it’s attended well, and Bridge Church is receptive to the idea. Everything is looking towards the future of what prom is going to be like, because we’re at the point where we have to start planning that if we want to have it.”
With Waynesboro electing to start the school year in an all-virtual format, events students generally look forward to, such as homecoming, remain a question mark on the school’s calendar.
Smith and Heizer encourage any member of the community to reach out if they have ideas for events for seniors.
“We are looking for the community to help in any way they can,” Smith said. “We want to give the class of 2021 the best experience possible under the circumstances right now. We don’t want the only memory of their senior year to be that COVID happened.”
The senior movie night takes place this Saturday, Oct. 3, at Bridge Christian Church at 6:30 p.m.
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