Northampton Schools Thank Community for COVID-19 Support

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Northampton High School graduate Ashanti Morris poses for her free Project Senior Smile photo, with the athletic field scoreboard lit up with “2020” in the background.

Submitted Article and Photos – As Northampton County Public Schools looked at its return to the 2020-2021 school year, the administration and staff wanted to take an opportunity to reflect and thank the local community for all the support it has given to its schools since the start of the pandemic.

“The community has again come together in this time of crisis to ensure that all students received meals and emotional support. This overwhelming support given to our students is yet another example of the commitment to make life better on the Eastern Shore. It is this type of effort which makes Northampton County the ideal place to live, learn and excel,” said Superintendent Eddie Lawrence.

In March, NCPS had to make an immediate decision to close its schools for the remainder of the school year. This was an incredible shock to the entire school system – teachers, staff, students, and families. Many were left wondering how they would learn remotely, get their school food, what would graduation look like. There were a million questions swirling in everyone’s mind. The local community stepped in, coming up with creative and much-needed ways to show its support. NCPS is grateful for all the local support it has received. Here are a few examples of what the wonderful Eastern Shore community did:

A Cape Charles community member made a donation through the Northampton County Education Foundation, which covered the costs for each graduating senior to receive a school yearbook.

A local company initiated and funded Project Senior Smile. This project provided an opportunity for each graduating senior to receive an individual and family graduation portrait.

A Cape Charles community member made a donation through the Northampton County Education Foundation to purchase a signature graduation T-shirt for every graduating eighth grader.

A local company donated 100 Dell desktop computers and monitors, which will be handed out to families in need.

Preserve Communities (formerly Bay Creek) donated over 150 student gift bags, which contained items such as coloring books, crayons, bubbles, and various snacks.  These bags were passed out to students in the early summer.

First Baptist Church, in Cape Charles, in coordination with Amy Brandt and Eyre Baldwin, started serving hot meals on a weekly basis to families in need. Each week, they served over 300 meals.

Eastville Baptist Church made over 50 lunches for school staff members who were working during the virtual graduation ceremony.

The Eastern Shore food bank came to the immediate assistance of NCPS in times of great distress. In early April, NCPS had to close down its weekly food distribution due to a COVID-19 threat with one of its cafeteria staff. The food bank immediately stepped in, with the support of local community members, and came to the high school to pass out food boxes until the school cafeteria could resume its normal activity. If the food bank had not stepped in to help, NCPS would have been in a very difficult situation as so many of its students rely on school as their primary source of food.

NCPS would also like to personally recognize the Shore Delivery Corps. Shore Delivery Corps has been delivering food bank food and school food boxes, on a weekly basis, to over 100 students who were unable to get transportation to school distribution locations. It made such a difference with NCPS families and NCPS is so grateful for the support.

“I look forward to the opening of school on Monday and a year full of promise and opportunity,” Lawrence said.

Volunteer Jon Dempster demonstrates social distancing as he and two of his Shanty retaurant employees handle boxes of donations from the Eastern Shore food bank.
Shore Delivery volunteer Terry Flynn stands in front of his truck packed with school food boxes that are being prepared for delivery to Northampton students.