Virginia’s First Lady Pamela Northam stops in Roanoke for her Back-To-School Tour

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam, visited one of our hometowns Thursday. It was part of her 3rd annual Back-To-School Tour.

Northam stopped at several child care centers in Roanoke. She met with teachers and read to preschoolers to highlight organizations that have gone above and beyond during this pandemic.

“Ninety percent of the brain is formed before a child even enters the door in kindergarten, and so we really came to speak to the importance of those first years, that’s the architecture in which all future brain development is built," Northam said.

Northam is a retired teacher who now focuses on improving education for children.

“We want to help our teachers to continue to keep our kids healthy, safe and learning, but what a challenge," Northam said.

She thanked educators for all their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she read to children at TAP Greenvale School. She also handed out coins with animals on them. In return, the kids gave her their own original artwork.

“My fellow educators, I am so proud, they are truly our superheroes, because they have stepped right up,” Northam said.

But thank-yous were given out from all directions.

“First Lady Northam has been a champion for education and definitely early childhood education, so we are so grateful that she chose on her tour throughout the state to stop in Roanoke at TAP head start program," Annette Lewis, president and CEO of Total Action for Progress, said.

Another stop on Northam’s tour was Burlington Elementary.

“It’s very refreshing and very reassuring to know that she’s been there, that she understands where we’re coming from,” Beth Grim, principal of Burlington Elementary School, said.

“We want to come and brag about the great work that’s happening here. This is a good example of how we can work in a hybrid way to make sure all of our children’s needs are met,” Northam said.

She visited with five schools and child care centers on her back-to-school tour Thursday.

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