Teachers from Neblett Elementary held a motor parade through the streets of Sherman Wednesday afternoon in support of their more than 400 students. The event, which ran through many of the neighborhoods that are served by the school, was organized in hopes of encouraging students during what is like a difficult and confusing time.

Neblett, along with all schools throughout the district, extended their spring break by an additional week due to fears of the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic. Teachers started their distance learning program Monday, which allows students to learn lessons while at home, away from large crowds.

“We want our kids to know we love them, and we miss them,” Neblett Elementary Music Teacher Priscilla Burns said. “This is just a time that we can reach out and connect with them in a time when we cannot be in school.”

Nearly 40 vehicles lined up and staged in the Midway Mall parking lot, which was otherwise empty. Burns said she came up with the idea for the parade in an effort to connect with her students while they were away from school during the closure.

“This is just a way to connect with the children ... it is a way to let them see us and kind of stay connected during this time,” she said.

In addition to the parade Burns said she has kept in touch with students through online messaging and plans to send out cards to her students.

While core classes have resumed in remote capacity, electives and other courses are still working through the process of creating lessons that can be done from home.

“Right now what we are doing is submitting plans, some music teachers together, in the district,” she said. “Just on my own, I am submitting some drumming routines and things kids can do at home, if they want.“

Among those participating in the parade was SISD Superintendent David Hicks, who rode in one of the district’s vehicles.

“Activities like this are inspiring and it is great to see so many teachers here to serve,” Hicks said. “This is evidence that the people in our district, we are a family.”

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.