Tuesday, 24 March 2020 23:12

L.J. Bell students cheer on teachers during parade

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A group of students from L.J. Bell Elementary hold signs cheering on their teachers who paraded through the school's service area Tuesday. A group of students from L.J. Bell Elementary hold signs cheering on their teachers who paraded through the school's service area Tuesday. Charlie Melvin - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM —Teachers and students at L.J. Bell Elementary School showed support for each other Tuesday during a neighborhood drive-through. 


Teachers lined up at the school at 10 a.m., beginning a parade that wound through the neighborhoods they serve. 

Horns blaring, the teachers drove past students who were standing in their yards holding up signs thanking their teachers.

One group of students gathered with their parents at Roberdel Baptist Church to watch the parade.

The school’s principal, Yvonne Gilmer said the teachers wanted to say “Hello, we love you and we miss you at the hive,” and they “wish you the best and to let you know were thinking about you.” 

Coordinated by first-grade teacher Tammy Lambert, the parade route included Richmond Park, several neighborhoods off of Richmond Road, the Philadelphia community, Lumyer Road, Curtis Drive, and several neighborhoods along Rockingham Road and Fayetteville Road. 

Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order closing schools on March 16. The original order kept them closed until at least March 30, but a more recent order from the governor won’t have them opening back until May 18.

Mineral Springs Elementary is planning a similar parade on Wednesday.

The parade will start on Greenlake Road, turn left onto U.S. 220 S to the Berry Patch and loop around back into town, turning onto Easterling Avenue, then 4th Street. From there it will continue to Ballard Street and pass Ellerbe Middle, then to Main Street, Wall Street, Crawford Road and Church Street before getting back on U.S. 220 to head back to the school.

For those who don’t live along the route, organizers encourage parents to take their children to The Berry Patch, Food King or Ellerbe Middle to watch as the teachers ride by.

The parade starts at 10 a.m.

William R. Toler contributed to this story.