Suffolk students march in inauguration
Published 9:47 pm Monday, January 13, 2014
Students from the Boys & Girls Club Suffolk unit, as well as John F. Kennedy Middle School, stressed healthy living as they marched in the parade at Saturday’s inauguration of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Eighteen students from the Boys & Girls Club and 12 from JFK marched at the invitation of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, said Nada Jefferson, a JFK special education inclusion teacher and civics and science co-teacher.
Arriving in Richmond, the group was escorted to the foundation’s East Franklin Street building for a healthy lunch, Jefferson said.
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The Suffolk students then entered the parade at 3rd Street, she said, and marched to 7th Street.
“They were meant to go to 9th Street,” Jefferson added, “but because of the inclement weather they didn’t make it that far. But they were able to march past the governor.”
Students in the march at the foundation’s invitation were required to wear green, red, orange and yellow scarves, each color representing a particular fruit, Jefferson said.
Marching with others from Franklin, she said, the Suffolk students participated in a sound-off as they marched: shouting and replying “Eat your fruit” and “Eat your vegetables” then yelling all together, “Healthy living is the only way to be.”
Jefferson said the unruly weather also prevented the students from attending a scheduled meeting with the governor.
On the bus heading back to Suffolk, she said, students had to complete a “3-2-1,” which involved recording three things about the trip, two things they really liked about it, and their favorite part.
“The biggest thing that amazed them was walking past the Virginia Supreme Court,” said Jefferson. “I think every one of them put that down.”
Other common responses were the executive mansion and how large it was, and simply learning how to march in a parade, she said.
“It was really exciting,” Jefferson said. “When we first got there it was pouring down raining, (but) by the time we lined up (to march), the rain stopped,” and then started again as soon as the students’ march was over.
The students were also impressed by the Secret Service and the snipers, she said, adding they were on their best behavior: “The students had to be extremely quiet past the governor. We didn’t have to tell them twice; they sensed that they had to be extremely quiet.”