Community embraces drive through activities


Photo courtesy of Tom Hernandez

Plainfield High School-Central Campus Principal Dave Stephens hands a yard sign to a senior student on during curbside pickup on Thursday, April 23, 2020. The high school provided the signs to show support for the Class of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines in place, we have all become familiar with the alternative options such as drive up, curbside pick-up, and contactless delivery. These guidelines have also been implemented in several district wide community initiatives – senior pick up, laptop distribution, and even the Village of Plainfield tree giveaway.
Laptops were distributed from the school to students who belonged under a priority grouping.
“This program was a district-wide offering,” Assistant Principal Chris Chlebek said. According to Chlebek, approximately 32% of the student body fell into the priority category for needing a laptop.
“A total of approximately 3,100 parents requested a laptop,” Dr. Lane Abrell, superintendent, said. “As of April 24, we had distributed 1,082 laptops to families who had preK-12 students who met one or more of the following criteria: homeless, foster children, free and reduced lunch, attend out-of-district special needs schools, at-risk pre school.”
This laptop distribution, as part of the remote learning solution, has proved very beneficial.
“I think the feedback people have given me has been positive. For people that have received one it has been very helpful,” Principal Dave Stephens said.
In keeping with the curbside pick up theme, the Village of Plainfield hosted the first ever community tree giveaway on Wednesday, April 22. Over 250 cars came to the Prairie Activity and Recreation Center to receive trees in honor of Earth Day.
Jennifer Rooks- Lopez, Director of Parks and Planning said that this drive up event had surpassed her expectations and hopes that more events like this will be planned in the future.
“We had roughly 450 trees to give away, and I’m glad to report they all found homes,” Lopez said.
Participants in the event were able to help the planet from the comfort of their own car. First, participants were asked to choose a tree sapling from four different varieties. Then, the chosen tree was placed outside the driver’s side door for convenient pick up.
The trees were donated to the District by the Living Lands & Water Organization. This supported their Million Trees project which aims to plant and grow at least one million trees around the country, and the citizens of Plainfield had the opportunity to support the organization come closer to their goal.
One wonders if the convenience of drive up programs such as these will continue long past the social distancing restrictions currently in place through the end of May.