HAMPTON, Va. -- From the moment the first bus pulled out of one of the City of Hampton’s school bus depots, to school staff and volunteers cheering as buses pulled into Aberdeen Elementary School, it could only mean one thing -- the first day of school for the Hampton City Public Schools.
"I’m excited, I’m very proud, I’m actually a little emotional but I’m happy,” Derrick Green said.
Green dropped off his fifth-grader at Aberdeen, saying he is excited for his son to interact with others instead of through a computer screen.
“I’m looking forward to them having that experience that they didn’t have last year,” Green said, referring to children having to learn virtually, “With being in a school, around kids, going on class trips and things that I think a child needs when they’re younger."
Greeting the children and parents was Aberdeen Elementary Principal Dr. Tiffany Suggs. She was among the staff outside the school to greet the children as the buses pulled in.
“We’ve been working so hard all week, all summer getting ready for the return, the safe return, of our students,” Suggs said. “We know that virtual learning does not work for everyone and we like to have our eyes and hands on our babies."
The ladies of the local chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority were also present. They waved pom-poms and cheered as the children, some with their parents, arrived for the first day of school.
“This is our community,” Shantia Allen, vice president of the sorority's local chapter, said. “A lot of us live right down the street or have lived down the street so we want to make sure we leave our imprint here."
By 7:30 a.m., the children started entering the school after lining up outside by their grade.
“It feels good, it makes my heart smile,” Green said.