If you notice that the Saucon Valley School District stadium is illuminated this Friday, April 17, between 7 and 9 p.m., know that the lights will be on for a good cause.
As part of a PIAA District XI initiative that includes schools from the Colonial League, the East Penn Conference and the Schuylkill League, the Friday night lights will symbolize support for the Class of 2020 and for frontline workers waging war on the coronavirus pandemic, including health care workers, first responders and essential retail workers.
Schools from throughout District XI and most likely beyond will be participating in order to show support for their communities, with scoreboards lit to display 20-20 and “4th down and 19 yards to go to signify that COVID-19 is on its last down,” a statement released Tuesday by the Saucon Valley School District athletic department said.
“Community members will not be permitted at the stadium for this event and photos will be shared from around District XI as schools show their support for our classes and those helping with the fight against COVID-19,” the statement said. “As you see the stadium lights in the sky on Friday night, remember to say thank you to someone helping our community through this crisis.”
The Saucon Valley Class of 2020 as well as other senior classes throughout the state are facing much uncertainty about how their high school careers will end, in light of the fact that all K-12 schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year. Students have been learning remotely for the past four weeks, since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In Saucon Valley, both the senior prom and commencement exercises were previously scheduled to be held in early June, however it is unclear if they will be held even then.
The stadium lighting tribute began with several schools in Texas and will coincide with a national “Porch Light Campaign” that is also planned for Friday, a news release from District XI noted.
As of Tuesday, and according to PIAA District XI, the other schools that will be participating in Friday’s tribute include: Allentown Central Catholic, Bangor, Blue Mountain, Catasauqua, Dieruff, East Stroudsburg North, East Stroudsburg South, Easton, Emmaus, Lehighton, Mahanoy Area, Minersville, Nazareth, North Schuylkill, Northampton, Northern Lehigh, Northwestern Lehigh, Notre Dame-Green Pond, Palmerton, Panther Valley, Pine Grove, Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah Valley, Stroudsburg, Tamaqua, Whitehall, William Allen and Wilson.
@PIAADistrictXI Schools from @SchLeague @EastPennConf18 & @Colonial_League joining forces this Friday honoring the #ClassOf2020 and nurses, doctors, & first responders on the front line fighting COVID-19. #PIAATogether pic.twitter.com/Z0jYp5b4hX— PIAA District XI (@PIAADistrictXI) April 14, 2020