Local schools host parades to show school pride and love to students

Kate Wimberly
Staff Writer

On March 27, 2020, three local schools, Jenkins Elementary, Grandview Middle, and Northview Middle, held a parade to display school spirit and pride throughout Hickory, as well as provide a way for teachers and school administration to show their students that they love and miss them amidst the required COVID-19 quarantine.

“This is a very monumental time in these kids’ lives. I think it makes history and science more relevant for them. Living in the moment I think is going to be a big teachable moment that we can’t teach in the classroom. I hope the children grasp the greatness of what is going on in the midst of all the turmoil happening right now. They are loved and missed, and we miss seeing their faces,” shared Mrs. Zabrina Pitts, 8th Grade Science Teacher at Grandview Middle School.

Each parade route took each school throughout their district of Hickory, and each took about an hour to complete. This included main streets and neighborhoods in which some of their students reside. An estimated 16-20 teachers, parents, and school staff from each school participated by decorating their vehicles with streamers, balloons, and signage appropriate to each school’s colors.

“We are getting prepared to go into the community to greet our families and our students. Those that have children can relate that sometimes your kids get on your nerves and you think ‘I need a break,’ but once you get the break, an hour or two, you think, ‘I really miss them.’ It’s been two weeks, so we are truly missing our babies, and we want to go out here and show them some love, and let them know that we miss them, we’re dedicated to them, and we’re still here for them even though we’re away at this time,” stated Mrs. Nala Sadler-Sherrill, Principal of Northview Middle School.

Mrs. Sadler-Sherrill went on to discuss how teachers are still working, most of which is remotely from home, multiple hours a day to ensure their students and parents have all of the tools they need to continue their education through lessons provided online, with video chatting, emails, and phone calls. Mrs. Sadler-Sherrill shared that the transition has not been as difficult to get everything online due to pre-existing systems already put in place. For the most part students have been able to transition to online learning very fluidly. Mrs. Sadler-Sherrill also reports a positive outcome of the experience is being able to have even more parent interaction than normal with teachers since the accountability of students has shifted primarily to the family.

“This was a teacher-inspired idea to get out into the community. Our teachers miss their kids. So this is as much a morale booster for them as it is a face-to-face contact with students out there to encourage them and maintain positivity in a time that might just be a little bit crazy. We are maintaining flexibility as things change, sometimes more than once a day for us. So we are riding it out the best we can and maintaining some kind of consistency for our students to be connected to learning. We encourage our students to stay connected and reach out if they need us,” shared Mrs. Kim Heckler, Assistant Principal of Grandview Middle School.

Even amidst the unprecedented times we currently face, our local schools have found ways to turn our attention away from fear and uncertainty, and towards love and community.