Southport Elementary hosts back to school parade

Back to School

SOUTHPORT, Fla. (WMBB) — Although COVID-19 has changed the way many events are happening, one local school is continuing its traditions but in a safer way.

The annual back to school bash at Southport Elementary looked a little different this year as families participated through their cars.

A party that is typically held outside of the school,  staff still wanted to celebrate with students as best they could.

“We have face painting, we have games, free haircuts, school supplies. With this year with COVID-19 we still want to be able to do that because it’s one less thing the parents have to worry about as far as school supplies,” said Principal, Todd Harless.

They expect a big turn out each year.

“We have about 430-440 in our school, and traditionally on this day we have probably a good 75% of our kiddos show up,” said Harless.

Many of the students are getting to see their teachers for the first time since March.

“I know they’re looking forward to seeing some of their teachers and we can’t wait to see them,” said Harless.

Lynn Haven Methodist Church partners with the elementary school each year to provide school supplies.

“We took their school supplies list and each grade is getting some of those essentials, glue sticks, scissors, composition notebooks, backpacks in a bag, things like that,” said Church Director of Missions, Katie Fanning.

One family participating in Sunday’s parade says there couldn’t be a warmer welcoming than this.

“We’re just moving to the area, literally just got here about 2 1/2 weeks ago and this could not be more heartwarming and exciting than to see this happening for a new school,” said Parent, Erin Tavernier.

Saying she feels very confident in where she will be sending her daughter to school.

“Oh it’s everything, for a kid who’s just coming to the area and starting a brand new school, she now gets to see what staff looks like, and what her new school looks like even though it’s having to be from a safe area,” said Tavernier.

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