’It’s been encouraging;’ Bedford school principals, teachers uplifting families during pandemic

Staff dress up in costumes to distribute food and putting smiles on students, parents faces

BEDFORD, Va. – Teachers in Bedford County are taking a unique approach with food distribution this week while schools remain closed.

Goodview Elementary principal Kim Morris said the last few days have been emotionally rough for herself and staff who are distributing food to their students.

“When the first kiddo reached out with his hands asking for a hug. Stretching out the window. We were torn, torn up,” Morris said.

Morris said school closing has been hard for the children too, she said, “We had a couple of kids that just looked really tearful and asked when can we come back?”

Together the group thought of a way to uplift everyone's spirits.

Friday, Morris and Stewartville Elementary principal Denise Gerstler put on Hawaiian themed outfits and hula danced for the families driving in.

“The kids are excited, and we’re excited to see them. We just miss them so much in school,” Gerstler said.

It's certainly become a sense of fresh air for parents like Jessica Pursel.

On Thursday, staff members handed food out in animal costumes.

“It was our first time yesterday and it just really lifted everybody’s spirit. Including yours? Yes, including mine,” Pursel said.

School officials and parents are not sure how much longer they’ll have to keep up food distributions, but this surely makes up for the stressed times we’re currently living in.

“It’s been encouraging. It’s encouraging to see their smiling faces,” Pursel said.

The Smith Mountain Lake good neighbors also made sure families took home a bag full of food for the weekend.