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First Lady of Virginia visits schools around the Valley

Students at North Fork Middle School showing Northam chicks being hatched in the AG classroom.
Students at North Fork Middle School showing Northam chicks being hatched in the AG classroom.(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Schools around the Shenandoah Valley received a special visit from Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam and State Secretary of Education Atif Qarni on Tuesday morning, April 20.

Pamela Northam visited Bluestone Elementary School in Harrisonburg, Mountain View Elementary School in Rockingham County, the Roberta Webb Child Center, North Fork Middle School in Shenandoah County and Page County High School in Page County.

“Well, we love the Valley, and we know they’re doing great work here,” Northam said. “Over 80 percent of the kids are back at in-person learning, and we wanted to see what they are doing right. They are doing so much right. They’re really leading the way.”

While at Mountain View Elementary School, Northam and Qarni were greeted by students. They stopped in classrooms to watch many of the hands-on learning activities teachers use for more engaged learning.

In one of the classrooms, students were using computers and 3D printers to build their own model cars.

“The teachers are really thinking about the best ways to engage students at this age,” Northam said. “A lot of new things in learning that really engage students at this age.”

While at North Fork Middle School, Northam was given a tour around the building by three of the school’s FFA students, including a visit to the AG classroom, where students were monitoring fish and chicks that had hatched.

“It’s so important we retain what’s important in our community,” Northam said. “Of course there are many universal things in our community, but when we can tailor it to a community, it really means a lot to the folks who live there.”

Northam said they were excited to see how teachers have been doing now that all school personnel are able to be vaccinated, and asked teachers if there was anything their administration can do to improve.

“It has been amazing getting to see our students back doing in-person learning has been so wonderful. It’s exciting to see them, they’re excited to be back with their friends and teachers,” Northam said. “The teachers, the school personnel are all doing it so safely.”

Northam said they were also in the Shenandoah Valley to let more young families know about the state’s move to expand child care access, an announcement made earlier this month.

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