School parade 1

Teachers at Pasquotank Elementary School parade down Oak Grove Avenue Monday morning. Faculty members held a police-escorted parade through neighborhoods of students as a show of encouragement while students are home.

Teachers from Pasquotank Elementary School drove their cars in a parade past the homes of students Monday morning as a way to connect with students and keep them motivated during a time of social distancing.

Handmade signs on cars bore messages such as “PES Rocks” and “We Love You.”

A fire truck from the Weeksville Volunteer Fire Department and officers from the Elizabeth City Police Department and Pasquotank County Sheriff’s office helped with the parade — including providing a lights and siren escort.

Pasquotank Elementary Principal Jamie Liverman said the idea came teacher Destinee Barerra and others on the school’s Spirit Committee.

“The teachers approached me with the idea,” Liverman said, noting similar events had been held in other states and teachers had heard about that.

Liverman said the parade was about supporting students and their parents.

“We think this is a great way to show the students how much we care about them,” Liverman said. The school wants to encourage the students and keep them motivated, he said.

In the Queenswood neighborhood Beth Akers was waiting with her family for the parade to arrive before she left for her job in home health. Her 8-year-old daughter, Cheyenne, attends Central Elementary School.

Akers said her daughter has missed being in school and the parade was something fun for her to look forward to.

Cheyenne said she was excited about the parade and was looking forward to waving at the cars as they drove by. Lekia Privott, a third-grade teacher at the school, said she misses seeing the students.

“It’s a big change without seeing them daily,” Privott said. Although she still sees students virtually it’s just not the same, she said.

“I hope this will encourage them and at least let them know that we’re still thinking about them,” Privott said.

Cynthia Whidbee watched the parade in the Oak Grove neighborhood.

“I have no kids in school but I think it’s wonderful,” Whidbee said. “I think it’s a great idea. It’s a break from the craziness going on right now — especially for the kids.”

Christina Stokely, who teaches first-grade at Pasquotank Elementary, said before the parade started that she hoped some of the kids would come outside to watch it. She said she misses seeing her students.

“We just wanted to show how much we appreciate our students and their families,” Stokely said.

Stokely said it has been a difficult time for everyone and it’s important to encourage each other.

“We’ll get through it together,” she said.