NNPS students show their spirit at Virtual Block Party


Steve R. Drew, the Newport News Chief of Police, provides words of encouragement for students and staff.

Kailani Vera, Staff Writer

On Thursday September 10th, the Newport News Public School district kicked off the 2020-21 school year with an all new event: an online virtual block party. Hosted by NNPS The Vibe, a student-led talk show, over 850 people across the city joined a live YouTube stream that celebrated the students and staff of the upcoming school year. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many families have found themselves adjusting to virtual learning. While new changes may seem unconventional, the Newport News Public school district motivated students online with engaging activities, guest speakers, and showcases of student and faculty talents.

While the show was running, parents, students, and staff had the opportunity to submit selfies of themselves or their family on Twitter. Participants were randomly drawn to receive a gift card from local businesses such as One-Life Fitness, Jason’s Deli, or Mellow Mushroom. Announcements for winners were interspersed throughout the show.

The Virtual Block Party also included a plethora of students and staff who were each excited to begin this semester. One video featured students from various Newport News high schools who each had a motivational message. Another video featured teachers and staff jokingly lip-syncing to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye from their desks at home or in school. Steve Drew, the Chief of Police, made a quick appearance to wish students a safe academic year. Local talents made an appearance as well. Viral sensation, “TikTok Tammy”, a school employee, danced on stage, and 3rd grader Lil Rick Rogers rapped an original song.

Despite the uncertainty of the 2020-21 school year, the district can utilize online platforms for learning, entertainment, and as well as keeping connected. There is still a sense of vibrancy and endurance to be found in the students and staff of the Newport News Public school district, and the Virtual Block Party certainly illustrated their spirit.