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Yuma Elementary faculty, staff hold parades on student bus routes

Holly Viers • Apr 11, 2020 at 1:15 PM

GATE CITY — Though they’ve been out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yuma Elementary students got to see their teachers — from a safe distance — on Thursday afternoon.

School faculty and staff held four spirit parades along bus routes, holding signs and waving from car windows to their students as they watched from their homes. Led by a school bus, teachers and other school employees formed a line with their cars as they drove through the neighborhoods.

Principal Valerie Babb said the idea was to connect with the students and their families during this time of social isolation.

“We wanted to reach out to the families some way,” Babb said. “So Assistant Principal Amber Smith kind of came up with the idea of, ‘Hey, let’s do a parade.’ ”

Babb said Smith contacted all of the school bus drivers, who said they’d love to participate. The bus drivers led the line of cars on the bus routes that they would typically drive if school were in session.

Students who don’t live on one of the bus routes met at churches or other locations to watch the parade come by, Babb added.

“It’s just a hard time for everybody. Parents are having to be teachers now, and that’s a job that no one thought they would be doing,” Babb said. “We just miss everybody so much, so this was just one way that we could reach out and spread the love and let them know that we’re here for them and we’re thinking about them.”

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