Burgess Elementary School teachers surprise students with parade as coronavirus forces families to “stay in their shells”

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A group of teachers at an Horry County elementary school found a creative way to safely show their support for their students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With schools in the county closed for a second week because of the coronavirus, teachers from Burgess Elementary School wanted to help their students through such an uncertain time for them.

In a time of closed schools and social distance, more than a dozen Burgess Elementary teachers wanted to let students and their families know they’re supported.

“We miss our children,” said physical education teacher Laura Randolph. “We hope that they’re doing well and we just want to make that connection with them. We’re used to spending every day with them, Monday through Friday.”

They decorated cars with balloons, streamers and signs to give them a loud, fun surprise: a parade through several neighborhoods where BES families live.

“Hopefully get lots of smiles and waves, so it feels like we’re in school when we’re not,” special education teacher Kim Duke said before the parade.

Randolph helped organize the caravan.

“We just hope it means as much to them as it does to us because we do miss them and we love them,” she said. “It just gives us that little bit of connection from a good social distance.”

BES principal Samantha Coy also took part in the parade.

“I think it’s just good to just wave and see each other’s faces,” said Coy. “It’s all about relationships, no matter what we’re doing and where we are.”

That connection was felt Monday with each honk, each dance and each wave, as the BES Sea Turtles were told to “stay in their shells” by a sign held by the school’s mascot Scooter.

“I think it’s awesome that they actually took out the time from their day to do this,” said Andrew Monroe, whose children Abby and Charlie go to Burgess Elementary.

“Yeah, it shows that they really care, miss everybody, miss the people,” added Pamela Monroe. “We miss them too!”

About 30 cars drove in the makeshift parade and Randolph says she was amazed at how it came together so quickly.

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